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Nonprofit View: HSP mission to give hope, inspire change, provide opportunity | COMMENTARY

At Human Services Programs (HSP) of Carroll County, we strive to give hope, inspire change and provide opportunity by mobilizing our community in the fight against poverty. Here’s an exciting update of what’s been happening here at our 501 (c)(3) nonprofit agency.

We continue to work diligently to assist our county’s residents in most need during the pandemic and beyond, serving as the Community Action Agency. We want to thank this amazing community for your generous donations during this crisis — you have kept us going!

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We are proud of our staff and programs, both of which have risen to the challenge throughout this trying time. Here are some ways we have connected with participants and provided direct support:

· Our shelter reorganization is officially complete. HSP now operates three homeless shelters: a Family Shelter, an Adult Only Shelter, and a new Night by Night, year-round shelter. Our goal is that no homeless individual will ever have to sleep outside.

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· Stay tuned for exciting news about our upcoming COVID-19 temporary shelter project!

· We recently expanded our partnership with Carroll County Citizen Services to tackle the current housing eviction crisis. This new eviction prevention service expands eligibility income limits, enabling us to help even more people facing eviction due to COVID-19.

· We assist households with utility burdens through our partnership with the Office of Home Energy Programs and community partners.

· We continue several programs that specifically give people a hand up to further increase their ability to succeed. Our Family Center, Opportunity Works, and Financial Education services are all accepting new participants. The Family Center is a whole-family approach program for parents with children under the age of four to provide a support system while teaching parenting skills and providing child development screenings. Opportunity Works partners closely with the Carroll County Business Employment & Resource Center (BERC) to help people return to work — even those with limited work experience or with barriers to employment. Our Financial Education Service provides virtual webinars, classes, and one on one financial coaching to help you meet your financial goals.

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The pandemic has impacted our future expansion plans as well. We have decided to sell our 12 Carroll Street property. We will continue to focus all of our current efforts on supporting those in our community most in need, which eliminates the need for us to renovate the large building.

We have two exciting events coming up. Our Carroll CA$H Day Event will be a weeklong virtual event full of financial activities. And our sixth annual Gingerbread Festival is now going virtual, and will be available online as of Nov. 27, just in time to celebrate the holidays with your families. We are currently seeking sponsors and decorators — builders and bidders are most welcome!

Our mission remains, and our strategies for delivery have continued to evolve. Please visit www.hsp.inc or call 410-857-2999 for more information about HSP, our offerings, how we can help you, and how you can help others.

Scott Yard is the executive director of Human Services Programs.

Each Monday, the Carroll County Times publishes a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it, as our editorial. To be considered, email cctnews@carrollcountytimes.com with the subject line “Nonprofit View.”

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