Homelessness in Maryland is has been too high for over a decade, and state, local, public and private interests are looking to reducing homelessness numbers, and make housing available for those in need. The 2016 Annual Report on Homelessness gives the latest statistics on homelessness in the State of Maryland, and points toward a number of opportunities to both remedy and prevent some cases of homelessness in MD.
Homelessness is also a prime factor in substance abuse, with many of those that are addicted to drug s and alcohol at risk for becoming homeless, and those that are homeless are at greater risk of developing substance abuse issues.
ECHO Foundation advocates for more available housing in the State of Maryland; housing for those that are struggling to put a roof over their head, and for those that need housing while undergoing treatment for addiction and substance abuse.
Maryland Homelessness Statistics
How Many Homeless Individuals are in Maryland
Finding the exact number of homeless in Maryland is difficult, as many who are experiencing homelessness are not counted in censuses. ICH has recently worked with statewide providers to get a better and more accurate count, however. The ICH 2016 Point In Time (PIT) count for homeless individuals totals 7,352 persons experiencing homelessness in Maryland.
Homeless service providers in Maryland offer a different number, however, and this number is called the “Annualized Number” of persons experiencing homelessness in MD. The annualized number represents anyone that received a number of services, including:
- Emergency Shelter Services
- Prevention Services
- Outreach Support
- Permanent Housing Placement
The annualized number of homeless utilizing the above services in the 2016 fiscal year was 29,670, more than 3 times the number of the PIT count.
Facts and Statistics about Homelessness and the Need for Housing in Maryland
- The population of homeless in Maryland is (Sheltered = 6,594, Unsheltered = 1,798).
- The number of unsheltered homeless in Maryland increased 6% from 2015 (27,764) to 2016 (29,670).
- There are 4,749 shelter beds available for homeless people in Maryland
- There are 2,953 beds for homeless individuals available in transitional housing units in Maryland.
- There are 7,689 permanent shelter beds total in the state of Maryland for homeless individuals.
- There are an estimated 217 homeless encampments in the state of Maryland.
- Homeless numbers are estimated at 4,389 individuals and 2,556 families.
- 61% of homeless peoples in Maryland are male.
- 39% of homeless peoples in Maryland are female.
- 05% of homeless peoples in Maryland self-identify as transgender.
- 1,720 children under the age of 18 are homeless in Maryland.
- 440 youth (between the ages of 18 and 24) are homeless in Maryland.
- 5,210 adults (over the age of 24) are homeless in Maryland.
- 58% of homeless individuals in Maryland are African American, while 34% are Caucasian. 8% state that their ethnicity is Latino or “other.”
- Of the 422,282 military veterans in Maryland, 520 are homeless.
- On average, 8.75% of veterans in Maryland are homeless.
- 89% of homeless veterans in Maryland are sheltered, while 16% are unsheltered.
- 474 individuals were identified as “Unaccompanied Youth” in 2016, between the ages of 18 and 24.
- Estimates state that 10% of those that are homeless became homeless by fleeing domestic violence.
- Estimates state that 1,029 homeless individuals have died from 2006 to 2016. With no real way to gauge these numbers, the true amount could be much higher.
- Deaths in the homeless population have increased 54% from 2007 to 2016.
- Deaths of homeless individuals in the month of January (when temperatures are at their coldest) have increased 26% since 2007.
- Western Maryland (Garret, Allegany, Washington, Frederick, and Carroll Counties) had a homeless population of 3,462 in 2016.
- Central Maryland (Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s Counties and Baltimore) had a homeless population of 22,040 in 2016, the highest density of homeless population in the state.
- Southern Maryland (Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties) had a homeless population of 1,329 in 2016.
- Northern Maryland (Hartford and Cecil Counties) had a homeless population of 1,051 in 2016.
- The Eastern Shore region of Maryland (Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties) had a homeless population of 1,788 in 2016.
Shortfalls in Providing Housing Assistance for Homeless Individuals in Maryland
- The United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) estimates that there is a shortfall of about 190,743 affordable rental-housing units in the state. 92,446 for families earning less than 50% of area median income (AMI), and 98,297 for those earning less than 30% of AMI.
- Average cost of one-bedroom housing in Maryland (fair market value) is $1,141 per month.
- Maryland has only 34 affordable housing units per 100 households earning 30% AMI or less.
Advocacy for Available Housing in Maryland
In order to supplement available housing in Maryland for those affected by homelessness and substance abuse, the state needs to begin looking into new options. Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) is already beginning to look into options for addressing the housing crisis in Maryland, including looking to mimic what has been done with “Housing First,” a cost effective national best practice for reducing homelessness, in other states. The Housing First program has offered results in many other cities and states, including Salt Lake City and New Orleans.
While steps are being taken to ensure that there are adequate housing options available in Maryland for those that are homeless, at risk for homelessness, addicted to drugs and alcohol, or are at risk for addiction, there is still much more that needs to be done.
ECHO Recovery aims to help to provide housing to those that are in recovery from substance abuse and addiction, are at risk for substance abuse and addiction, and those that need transitional housing.