The Intersection of Health and Housing

"A safe home and thriving neighborhood improves both physical and mental health."

A new resource from NeighborWorks and Build Healthy Places Network highlights the important role that community development has in addressing some of the major health challenges that communities face because of lack of access to safe and affordable homes.

We know this is especially critical now, as COVID-19 continues to threaten the health and livelihoods of people across Baltimore City, the state of Maryland, and our country as a whole. We also know that helping people obtain and preserve stable housing over time will change lives and transform communities.

Here are just a few of the ways St. Ambrose helps people make connections, access resources, and have a place to call home. Read on to see how Teresa has found companionship, how Stephen has found comfort, and how Sylvia found her way home again. And be sure to check out Anne's story to see one way you can support this work.
Home Sharing is MORE Than Rent Sharing: St. Ambrose in the headlines

St. Ambrose's Homesharing program was recently spotlighted by NeighborWorks America! Click here to read NeighborWorks America "Home sharing is more than rent sharing" by Madelyn Lazorchak, featuring St. Ambrose clients and staff.

"For more than 30 years, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center has paired homeowners willing to share their homes with people in the community who need safe places to live, companionship or a second chance.

Over the years, the program has grown to include different types of people on small, fixed incomes, older residents, single parents and people who just don't want to live alone. It also includes people looking for second chances, such as people in recovery after substance abuse who are starting over. "Always, the common denominator is: 'I need a place to call home, a place to put my key in the door,'" says Karen Heyward-West, who has been head of the program for six years.

Heyward-West lists the following as key benefits from home-sharing:
  • Socialization and companionship
  • Affordability for both sides
  • Improvement in a person's health — that includes their outlook on life and their mental health."
A Path Toward the Future

Every night in Maryland, thousands of youth don't have a home to sleep in. This unaccompanied group is large and can be hard to spot which begs the question, would you even know? They are a hidden yet vulnerable population that tries to blend in but are barely making ends meet. Together, we can work towards ending youth homelessness, one young person at a time.

St. Ambrose’s Host Homesharing program is a path forward for youth who are looking for a place to call home. Since 2018, St. Ambrose has combated youth homelessness by connecting more than 40 young people to safe, stable housing, caring communities, intensive case management, and supportive services.

Stephen is a 23 year-old young man who was born and raised in East Baltimore, Maryland. As a preteen, Stephen started exploring the City on his own and found himself making difficult decisions about the direction of his life and his health. Being a very private person who guards his family story and traumatic experiences close to his heart, Stephen knew he had to make some serious life changes. That's when he found St. Ambrose. Read Stephen's story here.

Interested in becoming a Host? Looking for new opportunities? Our Homesharing Department has been working throughout COVID-19 so that individuals and families alike can achieve security and stability while maintaining their health and safety. To learn more, contact Homesharing at St. Ambrose today by calling 410-366-8550 ext. 248.
Tax Sale Surplus Found for Baltimore County Older Adult

Sylvia found herself living in a homeless shelter for the first time at the age of 79. Her Baltimore County home had been sold at a tax sale and then foreclosed on, leaving her with nowhere to call home.

A social worker at the shelter helped Sylvia get in touch with St. Ambrose because Sylvia thought that the house sold for more than what she owed in taxes. A St. Ambrose attorney looked into the matter and discovered that Sylvia was owed a $46,000 surplus. Sylvia no longer had to worry about her housing and health as she ages, giving her peace of mind knowing she would be taken care of. Read Sylvia's story of finding home here.

As always, if you have any questions regarding housing law, please call the St. Ambrose Legal Services Department at 410-366-8550, ext. 209.
How This Advocate Jumped in to Help St. Ambrose and Never Looked Back

"The work that is done and the lives impacted by the Agency deserve far more support than my nominal monthly donation. Giving a voice to those who are without and ensuring that the most vulnerable are housed in dignity has never been needed more in my lifetime than it is today and I hope others will give as generously as they can in support of this critical mission." Read Anne's Story here.

Monthly giving to St. Ambrose ensures that individuals and families have a pathway to secure, stable housing, which is critical today and every day. By becoming a Monthly Donor, your support provides steady and predictable funding and helps us focus on programming and planning for the future. 

Get started by clicking here and select “Monthly” under Recurring Payment options. You can change your giving preferences at any time, simply let us know.

Thank you for partnering with us on this journey to a better Baltimore for all.
Virtual Fair Housing Film Festival

Have you watched everything on Netflix and are looking for something new? Join the Baltimore City Office of Equity and Civil Rights for this year's Civil Rights Week, celebrated with their first annual Fair Housing Film Festival. Watch films, join panel discussions, and see original performances all based on the idea of fair housing- everyone's right to live free from housing discrimination. 

When to watch: August 24- 28, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Click here to view films, panel discussions and performances.
2020 Community Investment Tax Credits Are Available!

Community Investment Tax credits help St. Ambrose raise critical funds that support families with programs that are both innovative and reliable. As COVID-19 has shown us all, the work to ensure that individuals and families have a pathway to secure, stable housing, is critical today and every day.

Tax credits can help support the vital work of providing affordable housing, protecting families, and pursuing justice while significantly reducing the out-of-pocket cost of your donation.When you make a donation of $500 or more to St. Ambrose, you may be eligible to receive a Maryland Community Investment Tax Credit equal to 50% of the value of your donation. Community investment tax credits are in addition to Federal and State charitable tax deductions.

Contact Lindsey Henley at lindseyh@stambros.org to claim your credits today.
Upcoming Virtual Workshops

Register TODAY for St. Ambrose’s Virtual Home-Buying Workshops!

St. Ambrose is offering FREE Zoom Homebuyer Education Workshops. The workshop can be viewed directly from your home computer or smart phone. You would need to make sure that your computer is equipped with a web camera to view the workshop.

Baltimore City Home-Buying Workshop
Date: Saturday, August 22, 2020

Baltimore County Home-Buying Workshop
Date: Saturday, September 12, 2020

*All workshops are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You MUST register to attend the workshops.

For online registration, click here.

Questions? Please contact us at 410-366-8550 at ext. 249 or by email at: intake@stambros.org.
If you're worried about foreclosure, eviction, losing your home, or being unable to pay rent, we are here for you. Check out the resources we've created below and contact us today.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more resources and regular updates.