Meeting Ground 
Fall 2018
New Rapid Rehousing Program Allows a New Start after a Devastating Setback   
Meeting Ground recently began a Rapid Rehousing Program thanks to the generosity of individual donors and a small grant from the State of Maryland. This program adopts the Housing First model and approaches ending homelessness by providing financial support so that people can move off the street and into permanent housing before they might be able to afford it themselves. The program then offers clients assistance from case managers while they work towards achieving self-sufficiency and tackle the issues that contribute to their homelessness. People can better recover from addiction, find employment, or recover from health or mental health problems when they are not constantly worried about where to find a place to sleep.
After the move, we work with each client to make sure they will be able to keep their new housing long after their last appointment with our case managers. We have seen many clients succeed in this program over the past year, and would like to highlight just one of those cases.
Jessica came to Wayfarers' House this March after living though a real-life nightmare. Not long before that, she had been making arrangements to move into a new apartment with her three young daughters. She had secured a place, paid the security deposit and first month's rent, and even received her keys. She packed her moving van, pulled up to her family's new home, put the keys in the door, and they didn't work. Thinking this was just a mistake, Jessica called the landlord, but no one answered, and she soon found out the person she believed owned the property didn't really exist. The police reported that he had scammed many young, vulnerable families like this before, but they'd so far been unable to bring him to justice.
This story is a nightmare to hear about, but an even greater nightmare to live. With nowhere else to turn, Jessica presented at Wayfarers' House this spring. She was grateful to have a place to work through a life event that could have been catastrophic without the services Meeting Ground offered.
Jessica was diligent in her efforts to rebuild her life. She was receptive to suggestions and assistance from Meeting Ground staff, and she utilized all available resources to secure employment. Working to build a savings again, she even continued looking for employment after finding her first job, and secured yet another position. Her constant employment and housing searches positioned her to qualify for a residence at an Elkton apartment complex. On July 7, 2018, Jessica and her family moved into a two bedroom townhouse. She was able to move in more quickly than she otherwise would have because her moving costs and first month's rent were covered by our Rapid Rehousing Program.
We know that with this new start, Jessica and her daughters face a bright future. Please join us in congratulating Jessica and wishing her family all the best in their new life!

Winter Emergency Rotating Shelter Prepares for Another Season
The Emergency Rotating Shelter serves as the only emergency shelter in Cecil County. Operating during the coldest months of the year, the shelter provides safety and warmth for people who normally live on the streets or in tents in the woods of Elkton. This service became even more vital late last fall when many of the homeless encampments in the woods were closed. While they were not an ideal place to live, for many these tents were the only thing keeping them out of the cold at night. Thus, while the winter months are always a hard time for the homeless, these closings added another complication to the lives of our clients, and made us all the more thankful to the participants that allow us to operate this winter shelter.
We need to fill the following volunteer positions for the 2018-2019 Emergency Rotating Shelter:
  • Overnight Monitors
  • Drivers
  • Intake Assistants at the Mary Randall Center
To learn more about these duties and the Emergency Rotating Shelter, please join us for one of our upcoming volunteer orientations and information sessions listed below:
  • September 13, 2018, 6:30pm at the
    First Baptist Church of Elkton
  • October 10, 2018, 7:00pm at the
    North East United Methodist Church
  • November 15, 2018, 6:30pm at the
    First Baptist Church of Elkton
If you are interested in attending any of these sessions, PLEASE RSVP by calling (410) 620-4701.
If you are unable to join us for a training, but would still like to learn more or volunteer for the upcoming season, please contact Sheri at (410) 620-4701.

This Summer at Meeting Ground and  
Cecil County Men's Center  
Rapid Rehousing - Meeting Ground provides ongoing expenses for move-in costs and continues case management throughout the initial period that a client is newly housed.
Saturday Breakfast at MRC - Thanks to the generosity of individual donors and the Dresher Foundation, Meeting Ground was able to begin a pilot program this summer that offered breakfast on Saturdays to better meet the needs of our clients.
Lunchtime Roundtables - A lunchtime roundtable was initiated so that the homeless could share updates, concerns, and successes over lunch. The roundtables are facilitated by the Lunch Program Coordinator, who is beloved by the guests.

Closet of Hope -
Open periodically at the Cecil County Men's Shelter, guests can retrieve shirts, socks, shoes, and other items of need.

Bible Study -
In partnership with Veterans Outreach Ministry, Bible Studies are held periodically for those interested.

Expungement -
Attorneys and Program Directors come and meet individually with clients to determine eligibility and then process expungements.

Van Pool -
Offered at all locations and MRC (as a group) for clients to be transported for move-ins, apartment searches, MVA, Social Security, prescription pick-ups, and doctor appointments.

New Move-In Visits -
Remaining shelter residents and Program Directors visit with newly housed guests to do wellness checks and provide company for those living alone.

A Blossoming Makeover -
Thanks to representatives from the Cecil County Watershed Stewards Academy, Howard Bank, American Home & Hardware, Brewer's Hideaway Farm, Columbia Bank, Cecil County Public schools, and our tireless volunteers we were able to plant a brand new native plant demonstration garden at the Center.

The Word
Deuteronomy 15:7-8 ESV: "If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be."   
Executive Director's Personal Plea to the Community

This summer was one of the busiest times for Meeting Ground as far as programming. Unfortunately, it was also one of the slowest periods ever as far as financial support. Just last month we had 195 unduplicated visitors to the Mary Randall Center, which left us scrambling to find ways to cover the additional costs. Today, Meeting Ground has no operating reserves and is in serious jeopardy of not being able to continue providing case management and housing services that help people rebuild their lives.
The total costs for operating our homeless shelters and services 365 days a year is nearly $600,000. Meeting Ground and Cecil County Men's Shelter served more than 700 unduplicated homeless individuals last year across its four shelters. Our expenses have soared and we can no longer continue to meet the increasing needs of more professionalized services without a steady stream of revenue. Please consider making additional financial support TODAY so that we can continue being the only source of help that many of those we serve have.
May God bless you for your consideration of this desperate plea!
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Or by mail to: 
Meeting Ground 
PO Box 808 
Elkton, MD 21922