The Howard County Public School System has signed a partnership agreement with Grassroots, formalizing a relationship between the local schools and the county’s 24-hour crisis intervention center and shelter.
Through Change Matters, a community service and philanthropy initiative, Grassroots has helped increase student awareness of poverty and homelessness, as well as supported service learning opportunities.
Since Change Matters was launched in 2008 as a pilot program at Howard High School, Change Matters has engaged thousands of students in elementary, middle and high schools and raised over $77,000 in “change” for Grassroots. Students funded a garden and children’s playground at Grassroots’ headquarters and shelter in Columbia, as well as other programs and services.
The Change Matters campaign is underway this Spring in Howard County schools.
Last year, 384 people were housed in Grassroots’ shelter programs, 164 of them were children. Another 736 people were served at the Day Resource Center, which addresses the needs of the chronically homeless. Grassroots counselors met face-to-face with 1,557 people and answered 30,112 crisis calls from men, women and young people including some who were considering suicide. The Mobile Crisis Team went on 442 calls, helping the police intervene in situations that could lead to tragedy.