Grassroots Cold Weather Shelter Serves Record Number of Children

Local faith community helped with emergency shelter program which housed 23 children, aged 6 months to 17 years, during winter season

Howard County Government, partnering with Grassroots and local faith communities, has served 59 people this season in the soon-to-close annual Cold Weather Shelter Program.

This year’s program has been distinguished by the high number of children participating in it: 23 under 18 years old, the youngest at 6 months and the oldest at 17.

During this past weekend, which included snow and freezing temperatures, 44 people were in the Cold Weather Shelter, which was typically housed at faith communities on a rotating basis but is located for the second year in area motels due to COVID-19 concerns.

From the end of November until the end of March, people are referred to the program when Grassroots’ shelter for the homeless on Freetown Road in Columbia is full. Grassroots has been operating the Cold Weather Shelter Program for 19 years in partnership with the churches and synagogues in Howard County.

Faith communities and others provide food and donations to cover laundry, car repairs for guests and other expenses. Donations to the Cold Weather Shelter and other Grassroots emergency housing programs can be made here.

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Grassroots is the 24/7 single point access for behavioral health, crisis and homeless services for individuals and families.