Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness

The Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) was established in 2014 to examine statewide initiatives and recommend policy solutions to end homelessness in Maryland.​

List of Publications​

As Outlined in statute, the ICH Will:

  • Coordinate state policy recommendations and working relationships among state, local, and nonprofit agencies concerning efforts to remedy and prevent homelessness across the state.
  • Disseminate information and educate the public about the prevalence and causes of and responses to homelessness.
  • Coordinate data sharing between local Continuums of Care (CoC) and make annual recommendations to the state legislature that are in compliance with federal policy initiatives and funding strategies.
  • Analyze the need for and availability of affordable and accessible housing resources and recommend changes necessary to move towards a statewide housing first approach.
  • Solicit input from the advocacy, business and faith communities as well as from consumers, regarding policy and program development for the homeless population and identify supportive services necessary to best serve special populations such as veterans, youth, families and individuals with behavioral health barriers to housing.

Membership of the ICH

Membership is outlined in statute, but all meetings are open to the public.

Who serves on the ICH?

ICH Working Groups

Membership of the work groups is also open to the public. If interested in participating on one of the working groups, please email Heather Sheridan, Associate Director of Homelessness Initiatives at heather.sheridan@maryland.gov

For more information, please visit ICH Working Groups.

Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness

The Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness oversees the work of the ICH.

Meetings and Minutes

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2017

April

The ICH held our first meeting of 2017 on April 13th, 2017. The meeting was widely attended and we covered a number of updates pertaining to a busy legislative session and much progress of our work groups. We also heard about an analysis being completed for the ICH, focused on the resource gaps local jurisdictions face that impact their ability to provide full access to emergency shelter. We plan to meet next in July.

Meeting Documents

2016

February

The State Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) held our first meeting of the New Year. Despite the inclement weather, the meeting was quite a success! Agency Secretaries from the Department of Human Resources (DHR), Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS), the Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) participated in the meeting. Our ICH chair shared highlights from the Annual Report on Homelessness, presented to the Governor’s Office in December 2015 as well as reflections from the State Joint Legislative Committee on Ending Homelessness, chaired by Sen. Madaleno and Del. Washington.

Secretaries Malhotra and Holt from DHR and DHCD respectively, shared plans to work together in the coming months to identify ways agency funding can be combined and best utilized to reach the state goals outlined by the ICH Homeless Services Framework. Members of the Council received a legislative update focused on the numerous homeless services bills, introduced by members of the General Assembly this session. Members of the Council voted unanimously to adopt the Homeless Services Framework. The Framework will serve as a working “road map” as the Council moves through work this year. Each work group assigned to a specific goal, will make edits as tasks are completed and new objectives are identified.

Members received a briefing from the University of Maryland, School of Social Work about preliminary data gathered from the Inaugural Youth Reach Maryland count. The count was completed this past fall in eight counties throughout the state. Following that, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) presented on the principles of Housing First. Finally, the chairs of the three work groups reported out about their progress and plans for the coming months.

Thank you to everyone who attended.

Meeting Documents

Photos

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September

During the September 2016 meeting of the state Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH), we reviewed the accomplishments made during 2016. Department of Legislative Services (DLS) staff supporting the work of the Joint Committee on Ending Homelessness presented to ICH members, accomplishments from the previous year. Members of the ICH discussed updates to the Homeless Services Framework and work group leads provided updates. The Veteran’s work group chair, Dana Hendrickson, presented information pertaining to the Homeless Veterans Resource Guide. The chair of the Youth and Young Adult work group provided updates to the Homeless Services Framework goal. Members of the ICH heard from Anne Arundel County about a summertime Point in Time county they conducted in August. For more information about that effort, please contact Justin Bieler at justin.bieler@maryland.gov. Members also heard from Washington, Carroll and Garrett County Continuum of Care (CoC) leads who expressed interest in joining the ICH by filling the vacant CoC slot on the ICH. Following the meeting a vote was taken among members of the ICH and Garrett County was selected to fill the vacant spot.

Meeting Documents

2015

February


On February 10th, the ICH held our 3rd meeting. During this meeting we took the opportunity to work in small groups to consider and discuss the Homeless Services framework. ICH members and those in the audience were brought together into small groups to focus in on the following 4 goals from the framework:

  • Create more affordable and supportive housing options statewide
  • Create a comprehensive discharge planning process for homeless clients being released from medical facilities
  • Create more “low barrier” options across the state for clients seeking emergency shelter or transitional housing
  • Develop a plan to temporarily subsidize the difference between income and cost of housing

Groups considered the following 4 questions related to the goals:

  • How do you define success for this goal?
  • What are some challenges we may encounter that might hinder success toward this goal? What are ways we can address these challenges now?
  • Who are some of our usual and “unusual” partners we can bring in to help us achieve success towards this goal?
  • What unique contribution can I provided to ensure we successfully meet this goal over the next year?

It was an excellent meeting and we invite you to join us for our next meeting in April.

Meeting Documents

Photos

 
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View all photos from this meeting

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October

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The State Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) held our fall meeting today at Our Daily Bread Employment Center. We discussed the expanded homeless services framework which will be shared here very soon for public comment. We also discussed the outcomes of the regional cold weather planning meeting held with Continuum of Care (CoC) representatives on Sept. 25th, 2015. If you are a cold weather shelter provider or community leader responsible for this effort in your jurisdiction and would like to be included in our next planning meeting, please email dhrhomeless.services@maryland.gov.

Thank you to everyone who attended, despite the rain and our next convening will be on December 17th, 2015.

Meeting Documents

Photos

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2014

September


The inaugural meeting of the ICH was held on September 24th, 2014. During this meeting, the goals of the council were established. Over 30 members of the community attended, in addition to the council members. We discussed the focus areas for the ICH and through that the working groups that should be established to investigate areas that require more research. The ICH decided to adopt working groups to focus in on issues of Veterans Homelessness, Young Adult Homelessness as well as Health and Housing.

Former DHR Secretary Theodore Dallas wrote “Nationally, over 600,000 people are homeless and approximately 10,000 of them live in Maryland. To help those Marylanders in need, we worked with the General Assembly and community partners to launch a new Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH). The ICH was established by SB 796 (2014) to examine statewide initiatives aimed at ending homelessness throughout the state of Maryland.

I recently chaired the inaugural meeting of the new ICH on September 24th. Unlike previous versions of the ICH, this new version is more inclusive. In addition to representatives from 12 state agencies including the Governor’s Office for Children, there are three representatives from local Continuums of Care (the 16 federally-recognized bodies created to organize and deliver housing and services to meet the specific needs of people who are homeless as they move to stable housing and maximum self-sufficiency) and six advocates from throughout the state, as well as a community member who has experienced homelessness.

The ICH is tasked with coordinating state policy recommendations and working relationships among state, local, and nonprofit agencies concerning efforts to remedy and prevent homelessness across the state. It will also make recommendations about statewide data sharing efforts. We will also submit annual recommendations to the Joint Committee of the General Assembly to comply with federal policy initiatives and funding strategies.

The ICH will solicit input from the advocacy, business and faith communities as well as from consumers, on policy and program development for the homeless population and identify supportive services necessary to serve special populations such as veterans, youth, families and individuals with behavioral health barriers to housing. And finally, we will analyze the need for and availability of affordable and accessible housing resources and recommend changes necessary to move towards a statewide housing first approach.

There are a number of exciting initiatives happening across the state for housing our homeless population, such as supportive housing Innovations in Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties as well as lower cost supportive housing development ideas from Baltimore City. We have an upcoming Youth Count Demonstration pilot project happening in nine counties around the state in 2015. We are also working on further development and implementation of a statewide Homelessness Data Warehouse.

Following our first meeting last week, we will work to establish work groups focused on the priority issues related to homelessness alleviation. The topics of interest and priority were discussed during the first meeting. Among those discussed were Veterans, Health and Homelessness, Housing for Young Adults and the adoption of a Housing First model statewide. The work groups will focus work on the priority issues as defined by the larger ICH and will report back to the larger body. The larger ICH will meet quarterly.”

If you would like more information about the work of the ICH please contact Heather Sheridan at heather.sheridan@maryland.gov.

Meeting Documents

November

Our second meeting was on November 18, 2014 and it was held in Anne Arundel County at the Lighthouse Shelter. We were hosted by the facilities impressive Culinary Arts students. This program is an onsite job training program available for those living in shelter to assist them with job training skills that will lead to a more stable source of income.

During this meeting we received a report out from our workgroups and we discussed the concept of Housing First. If you want to learn more about Housing First, take a look at these short videos:

Meeting Documents

Photos

 

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