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Support for Students and Families Experiencing Homelessness in Howard County

It is the mission of the HCPSS Homeless Advisory Committee (HAC) to provide children and families experiencing homelessness with comprehensive, personalized services to remove barriers to academic and social success.

The following organizations, which are members of the HAC, work together as partners in education to ensure that children and families experiencing homelessness can excel, access available resources, and are supported to promote hope and resilience.

View printable version of support services contact information

HCPSS Office of Student Services, Pupil Personnel (Coordinator of HAC)

Pupil Personnel Workers help all schools identify and address barriers in school, at home, and in the community that interfere with academic and social achievement of all students.

Matt Deyton, Resource Pupil Personnel Worker and Homeless Education Liaison

HCPSS Infants and Toddlers Program

The HCPSS Infants and Toddlers Program provides early intervention services for eligible children birth to three years of age and their families and caregivers. Services for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays are provided in home and community settings as determined by the Individualized Family Service Plan.

Contact: 410-313-7017

Preschool Special Education Services

HCPSS Preschool Special Education Services are provided for 3- and 4-year-olds with disabilities through regional early childhood centers as determined by the Individual Education Program. Services may be provided in elementary schools or community settings.

Contact: Howard County Child Find Screening and Assessment at 410-313-7046

HCPSS Title I Services

HCPSS Title I Services: Title I is a federally funded program designed to ensure that all children, regardless of family income, have access to a high quality education. This program provides academic support services to students at Title 1 schools and students experiencing homelessness, regardless of their home school.

HCPSS Pupil Transportation

The HCPSS Pupil Transportation schedules and manages school bus services to public and non‑public schools.

Contact: 410-313-6732

HCPSS Early Childhood Programs

The HCPSS Early Childhood Programs oversees state and locally funded prekindergarten programs. Prekindergarten programs provide a wide range of experiences and opportunities to familiarize students with the school environment and prepare students for entering school. Pre-K is provided to any child who meets first priority criteria, which includes income eligibility, homelessness, and foster care. When space allows, additional children who meet second priority criteria (i.e. English language learners, health concerns, learning difficulties) may be enrolled.

Contact: 410-313-5693

Bridges to Housing Stability, Inc

Bridges to Housing Stability, Inc. is a non-profit provider of services to the Coordinated System of Homeless Services (CSHS). Bridges provides intensive case management focused on re-housing and stability support for formerly homeless households. Bridges also provides some transitional housing. All services are accessed through CSHS single point of entry.

Contact: Grassroots Crisis Hotline: 410-531-6677

Contact: 410-312-5760

Family Home Start Program

Family Home Start Program is a collaboration with the Howard County Executive Office, Bridges to Housing Stability and HCPSS that provides housing assistance to families that are experiencing homelessness and that have children in Howard County public schools. The program provides qualified families with a security deposit and the first month of rent.

This program does not:

  • Provide a housing voucher or other long-term housing subsidy
  • Provide assistance for a move outside of Howard County

To be eligible for the Bridges to Stability Family Home Start Program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You have one or more children enrolled in Howard County Public School System.
  • You meet the definition of homelessness as defined by HCPSS in Policy 9300 – Homeless Children and Youth. Briefly, under this definition, you are considered to be experiencing homelessness if you do not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Examples: you are sharing a home due to economic hardship or living in a motel, emergency shelter, or unsheltered place such as a car.
  • You earn between 40-60% of Howard County median income. (We’ll verify your income for you after you submit the application form.)

Apply Now to Family Home Start

Judy Center

The Judy Center Partnership at Cradlerock Elementary School serves children from the districted areas of Cradlerock and Jeffers Hill as well as children from Howard County who attend Head Start. The program helps parents prepare their children for success in school through referral services, developmental screenings for children birth through age 5, interactive play groups, family engagement activities, child development and parenting skills classes, and professional development for teachers.

Head Start

Head Start, which is part of the Community Action Council of Howard County, provides free preschool to eligible 3- to 5-year-old children. Head Start provides family support services, and the part-day and full-day programs.

Dasher Green Center

6680 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, Maryland 21045

  • Phone: (410) 313-6210
  • Fax: (410) 313-6218

Ellicott City Center

8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043

  • Phone: (410) 313-2750
  • Fax: (410) 313-1910

First Presbyterian Center

9325 Presbyterian Lane
Columbia, Maryland, 21045

  • Phone: 410-884-3500

Old Cedar Lane Center

5451 Beaverkill Lane
Columbia, Maryland, 21044

  • Phone: 410-750-8172

Community Action Council

Community Action Council provides programs and emergency services for low-income residents including housing assistance (eviction prevention, first month’s rent, one month’s rent, energy assistance and food bank).

Contact: 410-313-6440

Coordinated System of Homeless Services

Howard County’s Coordinated System of Homeless Services (CSHS) is a network of community services and supports coordinating efforts to end homelessness in Howard County. The goals of the system are to reduce the number of homeless families and individuals, reduce the number of newly homeless, shorten the length of homeless episodes and reduce the number of returns to homelessness. Individuals and households should contact the Grassroots single point of entry hotline for more information on services.

Contact: Grassroots Crisis Hotline 410-531-6677 or 800-422-0009

Agency Contact: 410-888-8892

Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center

Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center operates a 24-hour crisis intervention and counseling hotline and free walk-in counseling. The hotline and walk-in program serves as the single point of entry for the Howard County Coordinated System of Homeless Services. There is also a mobile crisis team that responds with the police to psychiatric emergencies, family crises, and other traumatic events.

The shelter program has 33 beds for families and single women and 18 beds for single men. Supportive services and case management services are available to all residents. Motel placement is available for up to three families when the shelter program is full.

There is also a cold weather shelter that provides overflow shelter from November–March. Additionally, the Route 1 Day Resource Center operates three days a week and provides meals, showers, laundry, and social services to the homeless.

Contact: Grassroots Crisis Hotline 410-531-6677 or 800-422-0009

Grassroots Crisis Hotline: 410-531-6677

Contact: 410-313-0227

Howard County Department of Social Services

The Howard County Department of Social Services (DSS) provides a network of services to promote family stability, employment and self-sufficiency, and a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults. Benefit programs include Temporary Cash Assistance, Food Supplement, and Medical Assistance. The DSS also offers assessment and in‑home services to families and adults, child and adult protective services, foster care, and adoption. Child support establishment and enforcement services are available, as well.

Contact: 410-872-8700 and make selections.