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Today is 05.31.2020

Montgomery County Grapples With Chronic Homelessness | Bethesda , Maryland | Washington Post

On the streets of Bethesda, the hard-core homeless live mostly in the shadows. Many of them steer clear of the main thoroughfares. Few venture into shelters.

But amid a downturn that has cut social-services spending and forced officials to make the most of government funds, Montgomery County says it is focusing more of its homelessness efforts on the people with some of the most complicated needs.

The chronically homeless are often on the streets for at least a year and face not only economic hardships but also problems such as mental illness and addiction that can make housing them a significant challenge. County officials began targeting such people last year, setting aside housing vouchers to get them a roof over their heads before grappling with underlying issues.

Out of more than 200 such vouchers, county officials have been setting aside 25 for the chronically homeless. If the county receives additional federal funding this year, it could provide 14 more vouchers. At Bethesda’s Cordell Place, where the county subsidizes 24 bedrooms, officials have prioritized housing the chronically homeless in eight of the units.

“The need is tremendous,” said Nadim A. Khan, the county’s head of special-needs housing. “But the resources are limited.”

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via Washington Post