Pilot Initiative Will Help Homeless Veterans in Prince George’s County Receive Individualized Assistance, Stable Housing for Their Families


CROWNSVILLE, MD – November 11, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — In recognition of Veterans Day, Acting Secretary Clarence J. Snuggs is announcing the Families First initiative, an innovative pilot program that will help homeless veterans in Prince George’s County – particularly those with children – find stable housing for their families.

Families First is a housing-centered program designed to help veterans better navigate the various programs that help them adjust to civilian life. Its unique focus on families offers additional support for households that sometimes are headed by single parents.

“Our country’s homeless veterans include men and women of all ages and they have served in every conflict,” said Acting Secretary Snuggs. “But too often, these brave men and women can find it difficult to navigate the many services available to help them after they return home, particularly when they’re trying to raise children at the same time. Our pilot initiative focuses on helping families make the transition to self-sufficiency by providing housing support and customized Navigators who will help them be successful.”

Families First is provided to eligible military veterans through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development with generous support from the Freddie Mac Foundation and with service navigation provided by Friendship Place, a nonprofit organization already working with veterans in Prince George’s County.

“If there is any group of individuals that deserve our deepest gratitude, respect, and dedication to their health and well-being – it would be our military veterans,” said County Executive Baker, III. “Prince George’s County is home to more veterans than any other jurisdiction in the national capital region and the State of Maryland. I want to thank the O’Malley/Brown administration, and specifically, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Friendship Place for this innovative pilot program that will be essential in improving the lives of veterans and their families here in Prince George’s County.”

Through the Families First initiative, DHCD will be able to assist eligible veterans and their families by providing a stable living situation through rental supports. A participating family will contribute 30 percent of their income toward rent, and DHCD can pay the remainder for up to three years. Participating veterans will be enrolled in a self-sufficiency program that will connect the veteran with community resources such as workforce training, career development, childcare, and transportation.

“The goal is that upon graduation, the family will be able to afford a fair market rental unit and, therefore, achieve self-sufficiency,” said Kally Canfield, veterans’ services division director at Friendship Place.

“Most service members adjust well during their transition to civilian life, however some experience challenges,” said Edward Chow, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs. “We are pleased to know the Families First program is in place to provide the support needed to make this transition. We, as a nation, have an obligation to ensure our veteran families have access to resources. Through efforts such as Families First, they will have access to these services.”

To learn more visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/familiesfirst

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The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development works with partners to finance housing opportunities and revitalize great places for Maryland citizens to live, work and prosper. To learn more about DHCD programs, log on to www.mdhousing.org. To learn more, follow Community Review, DHCD’s blog.

News updates also are available by following DHCD on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MDHousing) Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/MarylandHousing).

For more information:

Erlene Wilson
Director, Office of Communications and Marketing

Wiley Hall

Andy DeVilbiss

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