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County Officials, Councilmember Leventhal, Non-Profit Partners and Community Remember Homeless Individuals; Launch Inside/Not Outside Plan to End Chronic Homelessness in 2017

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 7, 2017

County officials, including County Councilmember George Leventhal, joined non-profit partners and members of the community to memorialize homeless individuals who have died in 2016 and 2017.   Following the memorial service, officials announced a community-wide effort to focus on housing the chronically homeless by the end of 2017.

 

“As I listened to the reading of the names, I was reminded of a quote from American author Marianne Williamson who said “In every community, there is work to be done.  In every nation, there are wounds to heal.  In every heart, there is the power to do it,” said Chuck Short, Special Assistant to the County Executive.  “I believe that our community is only as good as how we treat those individuals who are less fortunate than we.”

 

At the event, officials announced a community-wide campaign, Inside/Not Outside.  The initiative is spearheaded by the County’s Interagency Commission on Ending Homelessness.  A new website, www.montgomerycountymd.gov/homelessness, includes information about services for the homeless; progress made on meeting the needs; and data on services provided.  Residents can find partner organizations that have volunteer opportunities.  The initiative needs the support of all in the community, including County government, non-profit providers who partner with the County, landlords, faith leaders and residents.

 

The County has identified 242 individuals who have either lived on the streets for one year or longer, or have a disability and experienced at least four episodes of homelessness in the last three years.  Montgomery County Health and Human Services is working with non-profit providers in the community such as Bethesda Cares, Catholic Charities, Coalition for the Homeless and Interfaith Works to identify permanent supportive housing for these individuals.

 

"The County has made tremendous strides in our efforts to end homelessness," said Councilmember George Leventhal. "The new Inside/Not Outside Campaign allows the County to more closely work with the community in order to ensure that chronically homeless persons are housed and receive the services they need."

 

“As we gather today to memorialize those homeless individuals who have passed away, the Interagency Commission on Homelessness (ICH) has an even greater sense of urgency to house our most vulnerable neighbors,” said ICH Co-Chair Amy Horton-Newell.  “We are grateful for the leadership and support of County Executive Leggett and Councilmember Leventhal to implement the Inside Not Outside campaign, and we are confident we will meet our goal thanks to the dedication of the County Health and Human Services staff and the many non-profit providers who serve homeless families and individuals in our community.”

 

In the annual Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Point in Time survey, there are 894 individuals experiencing homelessness in Montgomery County.

 

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Partner Contacts:   Debbie Ezrin, Coalition for the Homeless, 301-641-8326 (cell)

                                 Charlotte Garvey, Interfaith Works, 301-807-8819 (cell)

                                Sue Kirk, Bethesda Cares, 301-907-9244

 

 

Release ID: 17-439
Media Contact: Mary Anderson, 240-777-6534