Two Maryland organizations will each receive $150,000 from a grant of $750,000 by Kaiser Permanente to address homelessness across the Mid-Atlantic region.
The grants come as thousands in the Washington and Baltimore areas face economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn that has hit the United States. Five grants totaling $750,000 will be given by the health system to organiations across the region that are working to address issues related to housing and homelessness in the community.
Baltimores Mayors Office of Homeless Services will receive $150,000 to support the Digital Locker project, providing free digital storage of vital documents for low-income and homeless service seekers in crisis which can then be accepted by government social services agencies. These funds will be used to help lower the burden on service seekers to get connected to various social assistance programs across local government agencies, vastly reducing the wait time to connect to aid and thereby minimizing the time Baltimore residents spend in crisis.
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services will also get $150,000 to support single adults on the verge of homelessness through person-centered case management and financial incentives to enable individuals to identify and secure housing.
Addressing homelessness is a core piece of Kaiser Permanentes work to address social health within its communities. In 2020, the health system will invest more than $2.4 million in homelessness in the mid-Atlantic region and more than $36 million nationally. According to a January 2019 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Annual Homelessness Assessment Report, nearly 14,000 persons experienced homelessness in the mid-Atlantic region.