Housing Stability FAQ

Children's Homelessness Explanation Living in Box vs Living in Room

Please review our frequently asked questions below. If you find you have a question not listed below, please email us or call 410-312-5760.

Does Bridges serve Howard County residents exclusively?

  • Bridges Alliance serves those employed in Howard County.
  • Housing Stability Department is a partner in the Howard County Coordinated System of Homeless Services (CSHS). CSHS serves residents of Howard County.

How do people access Bridges’ services?

  • Bridges Alliance – contact Bridges directly 410-312-5760.
  • Housing Stability Department– contact the CSHS access point for households experiencing homelessness or imminent homelessness. Referrals to Bridges’ Housing Stability Program come from CSHS: 410-531-6677.

What are the admission criteria for Bridges Alliance?

  • Applicants are referred by Bridges Alliance Referral Partners.
  • At least one worker in household is employed in Howard County.
  • Household income is 30 to 60% of Howard County median per household size.
  • Households have had at least 45% housing burden (housing cost/income).
  • Applicant is committed to on-going participation in a Circle of Support.

I am homeless, or know someone who is homeless right now. What can I do?

Contact the CSHS access point at 410-531-6677 (Grassroots Crisis Hotline).

What is Bridges’ distinct role in our community?

Under the banner, “Solving Homelessness with Housing,” Bridges recognizes the link between the issue of homelessness in Howard County, MD and the shortage of affordable housing for low-income households. When housing costs dominate a major part of a household’s already low income, any crisis can result in homelessness. Bridges works on both sides of this situation through our two primary services—housing-focused case management and affordable housing provisions.

Does Bridges collaborate with others in the community?

Through the Howard County Coordinated System of Homeless Services, Bridges is networked with 15 other human service agencies to resolve the housing barriers of homeless and at-risk households. Through an ongoing partnership with the Howard County Housing Commission , we are able to provide affordable housing units to low-income and working households in Howard County, MD. We refer all our clients and tenants to community resources that can help them toward their goal of stability. See a list of our Partners.

How can my financial support make a difference?

Every gift matters and encourages others to give. Your financial gift makes Bridges programs possible, makes a difference in our clients’ and tenants’ lives, and strengthens our community engagement toward solving homelessness with housing. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Why are there homeless people in such an affluent community?

Howard County is among the richest communities in the country, but it lacks housing that is affordable to its low-wage labor force. Many households are one paycheck away from losing their housing and many become homeless. During the 2015 academic year, the Howard County Public School System identified 552 homeless students. On one day in January 2015, 166 sheltered and un-sheltered homeless persons were identified in Howard County’s annual Point in Time survey. According to the county’s 2014 Rental Survey, 6,700 households with incomes below $50,000 are renting housing units that they cannot afford, putting them at risk of homelessness. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a full-time worker must earn $23.69 per hour in order to afford an average two-bedroom apartment in Howard County. Many local service jobs pay under $15/hour.

Does Bridges provide housing vouchers?

No. Bridges does not provide housing vouchers. Questions regarding housing vouchers should be directed to the Howard County Housing and Community Development Department at hcvhousing@howardcountymd.gov or call at 410-313-6320.

Does Bridges accept in-kind donations?

Bridges occasionally will ask for specific items for donations on this website. Bridges cannot accept large item donations such as furniture.