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A Big Move Back – and Forward – for Neighbors ExperiencingHomelessness
Neighbors experiencing homelessness – sheltered in hotels or elsewhere since the COVID-19 pandemic forced traditional shelters to transfer its full operations in order to protect health – can once again return to the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center.
The relocation, required by the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services to reduce risk, involved the evaluation and planning for the safe return to the building by Weinberg Housing and Resource Center’s staff, and the health department.
For nearly two years, hotels were contracted to serve as temporary housing. Despite the temporary relocation, Weinberg Housing and Resource Center’s staff continued to offer its regular services while working out of the hotels. But in late February, the city announced that the residents who remained sheltered would be moved out of the hotels.
About 125 women and men were able to go back to the center. It’s not the maximum capacity for the facility, but it allows for residents to maintain a bed and access services while still keeping risk at a reduced level.
Residents were welcomed back to a fully sanitized building with adequate spacing of beds, partitions, fresh bedding, and other COVID-19 safety measures in place. In addition to temporary shelter, individuals are assigned case managers to learn about and obtain permanent housing options.
“We are here to serve the people wherever they are,” said Weinberg Housing and Resource Center Program Director Steven Rice. “We understand our guests may have unique circumstances and needs, so we are here to walk with them as they make their journey towards their next chapter in finding permanent housing.”
IN FY21, amid the pandemic and adjusted operations, 25 individuals found permanent housing through Weinberg Housing and Resource Center’s services.
The center provides services to individuals experiencing homelessness in Baltimore. Services include shelter, convalescent care, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, showers, laundry, case management, and a variety of life skills and empowerment classes – with a focused goal of accompanying them toward a home.
“With all of the services we offer, our main goal is to ensure we are addressing the unique needs of each person that comes through our doors,” said Rice. “We want each of our guests to fill whole and have the resources they need to settle into their new home.”