Officials held a forum Wednesday to discuss youth homelessness in Montgomery County. Some talked about the challenges and solutions, and there even some on the panel who have experienced homelessness themselves.
“My father just couldn’t’t always afford to be able to have our house or apartment paid for so we get evicted from time to time,” said Romello Davis, Full Circle Brotherhood mentor.
Romello Davis is one of many faces who struggled with homelessness. It continues to be issue throughout the county.
“I lived all over Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia – I’ve been to 14 schools, 8 elementary, 3 middle schools, and 2 high schools,” said Davis.
Officials in Montgomery County are coming together to discuss youth homelessness challenges and how they can help change this issue. Some are actively advocating for a youth drop in center.
“That would provide peer support for youth who are experiencing homelessness and would also provide counseling related to life and employment skills,” said Seth Grimes, candidate for Montgomery County Council, At Large and former Takoma Park councilmember.
Out of nearly 1,500 students who are facing homelessness in Montgomery County, about 200 do not have legal guardians.
“We need to come together as a community, we need to share resources, we need a drop in center, we need affordable housing for kids that are aging out of system care” said Chloe Perez, Hearts and Homes for Youth CEO.
Romello is now a mentor, and he hopes by sharing his story he is able to give those who are facing the same problem – hope.
“Just trying to help get them out of that particular mindset where they feel like nothings ever going to go right in their life,” said Davis.
The Montgomery County Health and Human Services committee approved the budget reconciliation list for 2019 which is to fund a youth drop in center for homeless.