Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

November 30, 2013

Need is dire

Shelter for homeless in winter is in short supply

Although the U.S. Housing and Urban Development reports a decrease in the number of homeless people across the nation, there are no indications the problem is diminishing in Allegany County.

HUD recently reported that Maryland’s homeless population this year is estimated at 8,205, compared to 10,845 in 2010.

But the situation in Allegany County is not as encouraging. Courtney Thomas, executive director of the county’s Human Resources Development Commission, said her agency does not believe the HUD statistics are an accurate reflection of the local homelessness problem.

“In HRDC’s most recent fiscal year (which ended Sept. 30), Laura’s Anchor, Allegany County’s only transitional shelter for homeless women and children with a 14-bed capacity housed a total of 55 individuals (20 heads of household and 35 children). An additional 377 individuals (130 individuals and 247 children) sought shelter during the year but were turned away due to lack of space. Some of these individuals found shelter at the Union Rescue Mission; others were housed for a short period of time in local hotels; and others remained without a place to go until the cold weather shelter opened in January,” she told the Times-News.

It is the cold weather shelter that is a key component of helping the homeless each winter. The local facility — a joint effort by the Union Rescue Mission and HRDC with funding support from the County United Way as well as donations from local churches and businesses— will open Jan. 2. Last year the shelter housed 44 individuals and provided 957 meals to homeless over the course of January, February and March.

Without a cold weather shelter to go to, many of these individuals might face serious illness — or even death. It’s a dire need in the community. Anyone able to help can contact HRDC at 301-777-5970 or the Union Rescue Mission at 301-724-1585.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • July 20, 1969 July 20, 1969

    When Apollo 11 landed on the moon 45 years ago today, it was until that time the mostwatched television programming in history.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Maryland on target to meet 2025 bay restoration goals

    July 16, 2014

  • Tough luck Tough luck

    The state has for a second time declined to help Allegany County get federal flood recovery funds in the wake of the June 12 storm.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Heard it all Heard it all

    Pesky thing, this requirement that political candidates file campaign finance reports.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo