On March 17, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and District of Columbia’s Mayor Muriel Bowser met and signed an agreement to tackle homelessness.
According to a press release from Montgomery County,
The event was organized by area leadership as a call to action to funders, developers, banks, employers, landlords, service providers, schools, institutes of higher learning, and community members to join in the work to end homelessness.
The Summit was held at Community Vision at Progress Place, a facility in Montgomery County, Maryland that provides services for persons experiencing homelessness, and commenced with remarks from the leaders of each of the three regions.
“Montgomery County has committed enormous resources to providing shelter, lending a helping hand to the homeless, and working to create and preserve affordable housing in the County,” said County Executive Leggett. “That has resulted in decreases in homelessness over the last several years, both among families and single homeless individuals. No one, however, can rest on their laurels in this area. This year’s ‘Point in Time’ survey will show an uptick in homelessness in the County. Clearly, even with using best practices, there is no easy answer.
“That’s why we need to develop and implement a plan for transformation of our local efforts to include our partners in the region. That’s why it is so important that Montgomery, Prince George’s and the District are coming together here today to commit ourselves to regional coordination and collaboration to reduce and end homelessness in our respective jurisdictions.”
“We all know that we are going to have to be proactive to solve this issue. Our response cannot be limited to sheltering people today. If we are ever going to get ahead of this issue, we must go further to truly address the root causes of housing instability,” said Mayor Bowser.
“Every one of us standing in this room plays a critical role. And for that reason, we are eager to be kicking off this long overdue regional collaboration between the District, Montgomery County, Prince Georges County – and all of you,” she continued.
“Homelessness is a growing problem in our region that will require us to use our collective energy to reduce the number of people and families in the Washington Metropolitan Region who have no permanent place to call home,” said Prince George’s County Executive Baker. “Partnering and consolidating our resources will allow all of us to help more people who are on the cusp of homelessness. We want to take a holistic approach to help people avoid this tragedy by providing wrap around services as well as shelter and stability focused programs.”
The Washington Post also notes
“Step one is getting us all in the room together and having an honest conversation about who we are serving and not serving,” said Prince George’s social services director Gloria Brown.