When women and girls rise, their communities and their countries rise with them. – Michelle Obama

When Ms. J. was 22 years old, she had already overcome significant adversity. Following her high school graduation, Ms. J. and her newborn son had been kicked out of the only home she has ever known due to her mother’s struggles with addiction. With no other housing options, she moved in with her boyfriend, the father of her child. This would allow her to begin schooling and obtain her Medical Assistance certification.

Unfortunately, this living situation became volatile, and Ms. J. had to withdraw from school and flee to a domestic violence shelter with her son. Now, from the shelter, she was marshalling her strength and all resources available to her in pursuit of a stable life for her family.  

Violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women, and is of many factors that contribute to women being in greater need of affordable housing. Other factors include continuing gendered labor market conditions that result in women’s pay being consistently lower than men’s pay. Gender based social norms also force women to take on unpaid work as well as significant expense related to childcare. Trans-women face particularly tremendous barriers to well-being such as increased discrimination that limits housing options and greatly increased levels of violence.

These realities cause women to be more likely to have lower income and wealth when compared to men, and to therefore be in greater need of housing that is affordable. Approximately 75% of those living in affordable housing are women.

But no state currently has an adequate supply of affordable rental housing. An estimated 12 million renters and homeowner households are cost-burdened and pay more than 50 percent of their annual income on housing. Having adequate safe, affordable housing is a central and actionable way to redress the trauma and exploitation that disproportionately impact women.

When Ms. J. was referred her to St. Ambrose’s Rental Services Program her case manager helped her find a job and an affordable rental property.  “The home was so big and beautiful! I never had anything like that before. It means everything to me that I have a nice home to raise my son in.” Looking to the future, Ms. J. planned to get a more permanent job, start college and see her son begin school.

In the face of destructive setbacks and barriers, women like Mrs. J are building better worlds for themselves and future generations. Women are doing the essential, largely unpaid and unrecognized work of healing themselves and their families from systemic harm. Women are also more likely to be involved in grassroots change movements, advocating for transformation and justice in their larger communities.

 St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center works toward a vision of the future in which everyone in our community has a place they are proud to call home. We stand with our clients, supporters and partner organizations in the continuing pursuit of economic and social justice for women and for our communities as a whole.

This article was written with information from the following sources:

Tax Resources

AARP:  

Offers free state and federal tax preparation services. Customers can choose between in-person and remote tax assistance depending on site availability.

Eligibility: Anyone with low to moderate income, with a special focus on taxpayers who are 50 or older may qualify.

Contact: Call 1-888-AARP-NOW (1-888-227-7669) or go online to the AARP Foundation Tax Locator. The caller has to call in, go through the menu options, type in their zip code and they will get forwarded to a specialist. 

CASA:

Offers free state and federal tax preparation services.

Eligibility: Individuals/families who made less than $58,000 in 2021, specifically Spanish speakers. May also be able to assist persons who speak other languages, call for information. 

Contact: Call 1-866-765-2272 to schedule an appointment. Someone picked up within a minute. They take down your information and have someone reach out to you from your area. 

CASH Campaign of MD

Offers free state and federal tax preparation services. Customers can choose between virtual appointments or drop-off tax preparation.

Eligibility: If you live in the Baltimore area and made $58,000 or less in 2021 you may qualify for free tax preparation. You must have an appointmentto receive services.

Contact: Call 410-234-8008 Mon-Fri, 9AM-2PM. Appointments are filled for now, but they open up slots with time. 

CASH Campaign of MD Partners:

Offers free state and federal tax preparation services. Customers can choose between virtual appointments or drop-off tax preparation depending on site availability.

Eligibility: If you made $58,000 or less in 2021 you may qualify for free tax preparation services.

Contact: Call 1-800-492-0618 or check out the list of tax partners offering free tax preparation services. See the attachment for a full list of sites.

VITA:

Offers free state and federal tax preparation services for 60+.

Eligibility: The filer made less than $58,000 in 2021.

Contact: Call 1-800-906-9887 and ask to find a location or go online to the IRS VITA locatorThey will need their area code, and the specialist will provide them with a location near them and help them set up an appointment. Someone picked up within minutes.

IRS:

Offers free federal (sometimes state) tax preparation services. Online services only or independent filing.

Eligibility: The filer must have made under $73,000 in 2021 to qualify for free online filing services. If the person made over $73,000 they offer free fillable tax forms for the filer to complete independently.

Contact: Go online to choose an online free filing service.  

Comptroller:

Offers free state tax preparation services. Virtual appointments available.

Contact:  For general information and free Maryland income tax assistance call Taxpayer Services at 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland, or 1-800-MD-TAXES (1-800-638-2937). Assistance is available Mon-Fri, 8:30AM-4:30PM. You can also schedule an appointment online.

Small dollar fund supports struggling homeowners

In March of 2020, the federal government issued foreclosure and eviction moratoriums, orders that helped secure housing for renters and homeowners alike during the COVID-19 pandemic. While these policies prevented millions of residents from losing their homes, they expired during the summer and fall of 2021, threatening the housing stability of millions of renters and homeowners who were still behind on bill payments. Community members facing eviction in Baltimore turned to agencies like St. Ambrose for help.

As the pandemic unfolded, our attorneys observed that the forbearances and deferments that lenders offered were helpful stopgaps but they were not permanent solutions and have the potential to create longer-term problems.

Homeowners like Lynne Frankel felt the impacts of this process acutely. Ms. Frankel attempted to work with her lender on her own to resolve her mortgage default and avoid foreclosure. For two years, she struggled to make payments that were double her normal amount, and ultimately could not sustain them. “I felt set up for failure and let down,” said Ms. Frankel, “because they literally said I could afford the payment without a modification.”

This led Ms. Frankel to St. Ambrose. She worked with attorney Owen Jarvis, who helped her secure approval on a loan modification, which would resolve the mortgage default and give her affordable monthly payments. Payments on the new modification were set to begin in a month, and things were looking up; Ms. Frankel was going to save her home from foreclosure once she finalized the modification by making her first payment.

But then disaster struck. In the month before her first payment came due, Ms. Frankel’s sister passed away. She had to fly out of state to help make arrangements and provide care for her nieces. The financial aspect was difficult, but emotionally, Ms. Frankel was dealing with an even greater weight.

“This was a very sad time for our family, coupled with the stressful burden of fighting foreclosure for a second time,” she said. At this point, she had already tried everything to make her finances work. “I had to get a second job again, which caused medical issues, so I had to quit that second job.”

However, just as things seemed dark, St. Ambrose was able to provide a bit of light. Through the SHOW Fund, St. Ambrose was able to pay money directly to Ms. Frankel’s lender to help her afford her other expenses. Upon first hearing that this was possible, she was brought to tears.

“I received assistance with a partial payment of my mortgage so that I could pay for my flight to Wisconsin in support of my nieces and their mother, who was using at-home hospice care due to cancer,” she said. “Owen Jarvis helped stay on top of my lender and helped get my home loan modification approved with an affordable payment.”

Since then, Ms. Frankel’s situation continues to improve. The home she had lived in for 13 years was able to avoid foreclosure.

While the impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt for months and years to come, St. Ambrose will remain an innovative and steadfast resource and navigator for those in need.

Stable Housing Adds Up for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

“Now that I’m in a stable place, I do want to go back to school. I think I want to go back to school for accounting. Because I’m really good at math. That’s a goal of mine, to get my degree or certificate.”

At the age of 19, Selena* found herself kicked out of her home with no stable alternative. Using what she had, she was able to stay safe and mostly sheltered despite her new circumstances. Still, her situation was by no means easy; Selena’s home life was riddled with constant disruptions, forcing her to continuously seek new shelter arrangements and employment opportunities.

“I got kicked out of my mom’s house when I was 19 years old,” she said. “I bounced around from house to house, couch to outside. Oh my goodness, I moved probably 12 times one year; every year I moved a lot. I stayed in homes that were roach infested. That was just crazy. I worked at Dollar General, I worked at Amazon as a delivery job, I worked at Amazon inside of the warehouse, I worked at Firehouse Subs in southern Maryland.”

This unstable lifestyle certainly wasn’t ideal, and Selena was looking for a way out. Homeless shelters became an important resource for her, especially in Baltimore, providing a more reliable place to stay. On a given night in Baltimore, over 1,100 people rely on emergency homeless shelters. But this is only a fraction of the almost 12,000 people experiencing homelessness in the city. For many, shelters can be uncomfortable, insufficient, and occasionally even dangerous. Finally, Selena stumbled across St. Ambrose.

“I walked into the shelter one day, and I seen the sign on a billboard that said, ‘St. Ambrose: we help teens 18 to 24,’ and I said ‘you know what? I’m going to get this a try.’ They reached out to me, and told me that they had a spot for me. And I was happy. I moved into a home and then I eventually moved into the Hope House.”

Selena entered into St. Ambrose’s youth Homesharing program, where young people experiencing homelessness live with a St. Ambrose-partnered host. These hosts volunteer to offer space in their home for these youths to live and get themselves back on their feet. After a while, some participants, like Selena, move into Hope House, a home where participants in the Homesharing program live together, supporting one another, caring for the house, and preparing themselves to return to an independent lifestyle.

“It was nice being there,” she said about her experience in the program. “The house was clean. It felt so good to be able to just lay my head on a clean bed and take a shower and stuff like that. I was just so happy that somebody opened up their home to me and other people as well. It changed my life. It helped me become more stable. My mind was everywhere, but just to have somewhere stable, it helps the mind calm down a lot.”

Selena entered St. Ambrose’s Homesharing program in 2019. In the early months of 2020, Selena and the other residents of Hope House were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. Selena was facing a unique wave of setbacks and frustrations, but she was able to lean on her newfound stability and weather the storm.

 “I lost my job on March the 9th, and then the pandemic came on my birthday. They shut the city down on my birthday, March the 13th, I was like ‘wow,’ I couldn’t even believe it.”

Despite the initial shock of the pandemic, Selena stayed active in her pursuit for a more independent life. Homelessness can be a major barrier to employment for many. While 61% of homeless adults in Baltimore want to work, only 5% are currently employed. Getting stable housing allowed Selena to seek out new opportunities. After securing a new job in May, Selena graduated from the Homesharing program in June of 2020 and now lives in her own apartment. She credited her current situation to the resources she was able to make use of during her time with St. Ambrose.

“Me having my own room; me being able to get on the computer and look up different jobs was great,” she said. “There were little educational programs; I was also enrolled in a Civic Works program when I was there, I completed that while I was in St. Ambrose. I wasn’t just staying in the house, I was always doing something.”

Selena has continued to find new job opportunities and now owns her own car. She even hopes to return to college to pursue further education in the near future.

This Is Home

Mary Ellen Jensen has a master’s degree in social work and has worked at Child Protective Services for 16 years. This work, she explains, is her way of giving back to the community that has supported her.

“I’m really grateful to be where I’m at in life,” she said. “I will work as long as I can work, as long as my health permits. I know that my goal is just to give back, because even now, if someone asks me to do something in regards to young folks, I have no problem to volunteer. Even if I stopped working, my goal is to bring to the table my knowledge.”

Twenty-four years ago, having a master’s degree and a steady, purpose-driven job might not have seemed possible. When Ms. Jensen first came to St. Ambrose, she had been dealing with chronic homelessness, housing instability, and addiction for two decades. Now that she has been living in a St. Ambrose home for nearly the same amount of time, she reflects on the way her life has changed.

“I was a person on drugs for 20 years. And I felt like drugs were more important than paying rent,” she said. “Once I got off the drugs, I got a job at a restaurant. And while in the shelter, I saved up $1,200. I got a house that’s in the same block as the house I’m living in now, across the street.”

After conquering her substance use, Jensen was also able to stabilize her housing. Housing and addiction often co-occur; around 38% of people experiencing homelessness are dependent on alcohol while 26% misuse other harmful drugs. Sometimes, addiction can contribute to housing instability or lead to homelessness, but often, substance use develops as a way to deal with the harshness of experiencing homelessness. Ms. Jensen’s journey toward stability had only just begun; even with her new house, the work didn’t stop.

After starting a new job in 2011, Ms. Jensen took the next major step in her search for a more stable home: a section 8 voucher. A section 8 voucher, otherwise known as a housing choice voucher, is a government assistance program that allows low-income residents to live in a home of their choosing with subsidized rent. But when Ms. Jensen went out to look for a home that qualified, she was left unsatisfied.

“Me and my two children would walk around in this neighborhood looking for someone who would accept my section 8 housing voucher and I was not able to find anyone,” she said. “I didn’t have credit for one, and the homes were not as immaculate the homes I thought I was going to be able to get, so I got frustrated; I was running to the end of my rope.” Her current home was run down, but her job was not bringing in enough money to upgrade her situation. If the housing choice voucher could not meet her needs, Ms. Jensen had few options.

Although her initial housing choice voucher search wasn’t providing satisfactory leads, St. Ambrose was able to secure a home for Ms. Jensen and her family. “It gave me stability,” she said. “And St. Ambrose would help whenever I needed assistance from them with whatever was going on in the house. And they treated you like family.”

Her children, who were seven and ten years old when Ms. Jensen moved into her St. Ambrose home, benefited greatly from the new stability. One of the best feelings was simply knowing they had a home, which was a relatively foreign concept for her children who had experienced homelessness for most of their lives.

“First of all, they were happy just to be in a home. I was trying to be the best mother I could be to them. This was the first real home that we had. A lot of people, once I got my degree, assumed that I was trying to move. But no, this is my home. It’s home.”



Read more from St. Ambrose:

Thinking about adding somebody to your deed? Here are a few things to think about.

The St. Ambrose Legal Services Department often receives calls from Marylanders who have been advised to add a relative’s name to the deed for their house. It is a common misconception that this is the only way to ensure that a house passes to a family member after the owner’s death. In fact, there are several more ways to ensure that your loved ones receive your home after you pass away.

At St. Ambrose, we help clients prepare three different documents that help secure clients’ property for the next generation. Take a look below for an explanation of these documents and their benefits and risks.

1. Will

The simplest way to ensure that your house transfers to your family members after you die is to write a will. The will specifies who is to receive your home after you pass away – it can be one person or multiple people.

Benefits: Writing a will is a quick, easy way to make your estate plans legally binding. Will appointments at St. Ambrose are free and they typically take less than an hour. Wills also cover other property like your physical possessions (cars, clothing, jewelry, etc.) and money in your bank accounts.

Drawbacks: After you pass away, somebody will have to open an estate on your behalf. An estate is the legal entity that represents a person who has passed away. Your family members may have to pay money to open your estate after you pass away. Additionally, if you die owing debt (credit card debt, medical debt, etc.), those creditors may file a claim into your estate. All claimed debts that are allowed by the Orphans’ Court must be settled before any assets, like your house, can be given to the person or people that you designated to receive them in your will.

2. Joint Tenancy Deed

You can also have a deed prepared where you add one or more people as “joint tenants with the right of survivorship.” This means that once the deed is filed, you become a co-owner of the property along with whoever else you have added.

Benefits: This ensures that whoever you have added to the deed remains an owner of the property after you have passed away. There is no need for anybody to open an estate for your co-owners to retain ownership of the property. If you pass away owing any debts, your creditors will not be able to place a new lien on your property after you die.

Drawbacks: You lose a certain amount of control over your property by filing this kind of deed. If you want to sell the property and a co-owner does not agree, you will not be able to sell without filing a lawsuit. Also, if a co-owner gets sued and loses, a lien could be placed on your property and you could be forced to sell it even if you are alive and living in the property. You will also have to pay fees to your local jurisdiction to record a deed.

3. Life Estate Deed with Powers

This is a special kind of deed that allows you to keep your ownership of the property during your lifetime and specifies a person or people who automatically receive the property after you pass away – these people are called “remainders.”

Benefits: After filing a life estate deed with powers, you keep full ownership of your property during your lifetime. This means that you can sell it, take out a loan on it, refinance a loan on it, or anything else that you were already able to do with the property. If you still own the property at the time you pass away, your remainder(s) automatically take title to the property after you die. There is no need to open an estate for the property to transfer ownership. If you pass away owing any debts, your creditors will not be able to place a new lien on your property after you die.

Drawbacks: You will have to pay fees to your local jurisdiction to record a life estate deed. Also, if you want to change who is the remainder on the deed, you will have to have a new deed prepared and recorded. If your remainder dies before you do and you do not change the life estate deed before you die, then your property will go to your remainder’s legal heirs.

If you would like any of these documents prepared for you or have any other estate planning questions, please call the Legal Services Department at St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center at 410-366-8550 extension 209.

New video: Three things to know about paying rent during a pandemic: Information for Renters during COVID-19

St. Ambrose Staff Attorney Tim Darby talks about what renters need to know about Maryland’s current eviction laws and what they mean and how to have effective conversations with landlords.

As always, if you are having trouble dealing with your landlord, or have any other questions regarding housing law, please call the Legal Services Department at St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center at 410-366-8550, extension 209.

Legal Services at St. Ambrose copy 2

The COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak has caused a lot of uncertainty for all Marylanders, particularly renters like Tim. If you are struggling to pay your rent in Maryland there are three things that you should know. Watch the video here.

  1. First, open and honest communication with your landlord is very important. Unless your landlord tells you otherwise, you still have an obligation to pay rent during this period of time. If you think you might not have rent money by the due date, get in touch with your landlord and explain what’s going on. They might be able to work with you to establish a payment plan or defer your rent payment to a later date, though it’s important to note that they are not legally obligated to do so. If you do work something out with your landlord, make sure to get it in writing.
  2. Even if you do not pay rent, your landlord can not legally evict you right now. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, landlords could not legally evict tenants without going through the court system and then paying the local sheriff’s office to conduct the eviction. Landlords can NEVER legally evict tenants without the help of the local sheriffs office. The governor of the state of Maryland has issued an order halting all residential evictions for the duration of the State of Emergency. We do not know when this State of Emergency will end. This means that right now, your landlord cannot legally force you out of your home, even if you have not paid rent or if you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  3. Lastly: If you do miss a payment, you will still owe that money to your landlord, even though they cannot evict you right now. Our state court system is currently running limited operations, and every county and Baltimore City is handling matters differently. However, once your local district court opens up to rent court hearings, trials may be scheduled for those who have not paid their rent. If you get to this point, you are liable for unpaid rent and also maybe fees and court costs. If you do not have this money by the hearing date, your landlord may be able to begin working with the sheriffs office to schedule an eviction.

The most important thing to know is that your landlord CANNOT force you to leave your rental property during this state of emergency. If you are having trouble dealing with your landlord, or have any other questions regarding housing law, please call the Legal Services Department at St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center at 410-366-8550, extension 209.

Foreclosure fears? Ten tips from Staff Attorney Tim Darby, Esq.

Many Marylanders are facing the threat of foreclosure due to loss of income because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. The St. Ambrose Legal Services Department has compiled the following tips for what to do if you having trouble making mortgage payments:

  1. Ask for help from a housing counselor or pro bono attorney as soon as you realize you are in financial trouble. The sooner you ask, the more likely you are to get the necessary support to resolve the problem.
  2. Stay in contact with your mortgage servicer so that they are aware of your situation. Your servicer may offer you a forbearance, meaning that they will suspend your obligation to make monthly payments for a certain period of time. Once that period of time ends, you will resume making your normal monthly payments. If you are upfront and transparent about your financial situation, your bank will better understand your needs and interests.
  3. Open all of your mail, promptly. Don’t assume you already know what’s inside.
  4. Know that the foreclosure process in Maryland takes many months from beginning to end. Many people are frightened when they start receiving mail about a foreclosure action. Take this seriously but know that your lender has to take several steps through the court process before you are legally obligated to leave your home.
  5. Know that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the court system is not processing any foreclosure cases and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, our state supreme court, has suspended all evictions.No evictions may legally take place at this time. Once the court system opens back up foreclosure proceedings will resume as normal. You still have an obligation to make mortgage payments unless your servicer tells you otherwise in writing.
  6. Do not pay fees for services to assist you with your financial situation when the service is available for free. Thoroughly investigate anyone who is charging you for financial services and what they are doing for the fees.
  7. Do not take advice from friends, neighbors, or family unless they are trained in financing.
  8. Understand your responsibilities under the debt obligation. A deed of trust is part of a mortgage agreement. A deed is the document that signifies ownership of a piece of real estate.
  9. Know your rights and don’t sign any contracts unless you fully understand the document. You may be offered a forbearance or deferment during this time, but make sure you understand the full implications of this sort of arrangement before agreeing to it.  
  10. Do not think the problem will just go away. If you cannot afford your house, start considering what next steps you will take in order to find a new living space.

The threat of foreclosure can be intimidating, especially in light of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. However, being informed of your rights and responsibilities can make the process easier. Going through a foreclosure doesn’t mean losing everything. If you remain informed and proactive throughout the process you’ll be able to salvage the maximum amount of your investment. Find help, resolve the problem, and look ahead to life beyond foreclosure.

Call St. Ambrose for free legal advice and foreclosure counseling: 410-366-8550 extension 209.

Navigating Legal Challenges in the Wake of COVID-19

The current COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a host of uncertainties in nearly every aspect of personal and public life across the state. St. Ambrose Legal Services is here to work with you to achieve clarity and confidence in challenging times. If you or anyone you know is in need of legal services, contact us today: legal@stambros.org.

Here are some of the questions our legal services team is addressing now:

Q: I recently lost my job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What resources are available to me?

A: You may file for Unemployment Insurance benefits through the Maryland Department of Budget and Management. You can do so online at http://www.mdunemployment.com or via telephone at 1-877-293-4125 or 410-853-1600.

Q: I am afraid that I will be evicted from my house. Can that happen right now?

A: All foreclosure proceedings in Maryland are currently stayed. That means that no foreclosure case will process through the court system until further notice. Additionally, the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, our state supreme court, has suspended all evictions whether the property is owned with mortgage or rented from a landlord. Even in cases where evictions were previously authorized, Baltimore City and County have suspended evictions from taking place.

Q: Am I getting a check from the government?

A: The federal government recently passed the CARES Act, which will send money directly to millions of Americans. The Internal Revenue Service will use information from your 2018 or 2019 tax return to determine whether you are entitled to direct payment and the amount that you will receive. If your address has changed since filing and you do not have a direct deposit set up, you will need to contact the IRS to inform them. One way to do this is to call the IRS at 800-829-1040 from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

The Treasury Department recently stated that people receiving Social Security benefits will not need to file a tax return and will automatically receive either a paper check via mail or a direct deposit into a bank account.

If you have not filed taxes for 2018 or 2019 and receive income beyond Social Security benefits, you should file your 2019 taxes as soon as possible.

Q: I cannot afford to make my mortgage payment this month. What should I do?

A: The first thing you should do is contact your mortgage servicer and explain the situation. Your servicer may offer a forbearance, meaning that they will suspend your obligation to make monthly payments for a certain period of time. At the end of a forbearance, you will continue making the same monthly payments as before.

Q: I cannot afford to make my rent payment this month. What should I do?

A: You should contact your landlord and explain what is going on. They may offer to work with you on a payment plan or suspend your obligation to pay rent for a period of time. Your landlord CANNOT legally evict you without utilizing the services of your local Sheriff’s office.

Q: What should I do if I cannot afford to pay my utilities?

A: BGE has suspended all service disconnections and late payment fees until at least May 1 and will be working with customers to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. For further information, contact BGE at 800-685-0123.

Both Baltimore City and Baltimore County have suspended water shutoffs for failure to pay.

Could I be evicted_

Q: I have not paid my property tax. Can my property still go to tax sale?

A: Yes. The 2020 Baltimore City has been delayed, but may still occur this year. The 2020 Baltimore County tax sale is scheduled to take place in early May. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR HOME IMMEDIATELY AFTER IT IS SOLD AT TAX SALE. Even after a property is sold at a tax sale, the owner has a right to pay what is owed (possibly along with fees) until at least six months after the tax sale.

Call the Legal Services Department at St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center for more information at 410-366-8550 extension 209.

Q: Can I still vote in the upcoming elections?

A: The Special Congressional District 7 Election (to replace Rep. Elijah Cummings) will be held exclusively by mail. If you live in the District and you are registered to vote, expect to receive a ballot in your mailbox in early April. In order to have your vote counted, if must be filled out and returned, postmarked on or before April 28, 2020.

The 2020 Primary Election will take place on June 2, 2020 from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm. Early voting will be open from Thursday, May 21 to Thursday, May 28.

Please keep up to date with the State Board of Elections as these dates and procedures are subject to change.

Q: What should I do if I need further assistance or receive a document that I do not understand?

A: You should contact the Legal Services Department at St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center at 410-366-8550, extension 209.

Q: Will any of this information change?

A: Maybe. This information was compiled in early April and all information is subject to change. Call the Legal Service Department at St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center at 410-366-8550, extension 209 with any questions you may have or to confirm that any of this information is still valid.

A Summer of Building Community- TOGETHER!

On July 30, long-time Baltimore City resident Mrs. Comer had her back porch painted and grab bars installed in her upstairs bathroom for safety. Volunteers from Wells Fargo installed new flooring in her living room and dining room. And this fall, both her furnace and roof will be repaired. 

These modifications were made possible through Housing Upgrades to Benefit Seniors (HUBS) and Wells Fargo, in partnership with Rebuilding Together, Central Baltimore Partnership, Jubilee Baltimore, and Jubilee Arts. HUBS is a program that allows seniors (over 65) in Baltimore City to continue to live in their homes and neighborhoods safely and independently as they age by helping them with home repairs and safety modifications. 

Clients like Mrs. Comer, who live in particular neighborhoods designated by Wells Fargo, may have access to additional support for sprucing up. The Wells Fargo Foundation is providing implementation grant funding for Front and Center: A Five Year Equity Plan for Central Baltimore. Part of this plan is to support decent, affordable housing initiatives- especially focused on legacy residents being able to age safely in place.

“I have lived in my home for nearly 50 years. I didn’t realize I needed help but now I do. This is such a wonderful gift that I have received. I am just so appreciative!”- Mrs. Comer