There are many causes of homelessness including foreclosure, poverty, lack of affordable housing, work lay-offs, mental illness, and subsance abuse. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there is not one general description that fits those who become homeless – it affects all ethnicities, ages, and both sexes. However, people experiencing homelessness do share basic needs.
Serving Harford County’s homeless since 2006, Faith Community and Civic Agencies United, Inc. (FCCAU), based in Belcamp, is determined to eliminate the underlying causes of homelessness by empowering individuals to create and maintain an independent, self-sustaining life. The only homeless shelter in Harford County, the Welcome One Emergency Shelter is a 28-bed facility (22 for men, 6 for women) located in the Riverside Business Park that provides a safe place to sleep, meals, and specialized programs to help individuals get back on their feet. FCCAU offers individual case management, mental health and substance abuse services, and transitional housing. Transportation to and from the Department of Social Services and the Welcome One Fellowship Center in Edgewood is provided.
FCCAU would like to offer art classes, music classes, and entertainers for their clients – anyone interested in volunteering is asked to call the office. “We always welcome volunteers,” says Executive Director Susan Moscareillo.
A non-profit faith based and civic organization, FCCAU relies on the generosity of community members to continue their valued services. Financial contributions are greatly appreciated and all donations are tax-deductible. A donation of $30 will shelter one person for one night; $50 provides breakfast and lunch for one person at the Fellowship Center for five days; $70 provides three meals a day for a week at the Emergency Shelter; $125 fills the gas tank for the FCCAU van for one week to transport 15 clients. Donations may be placed online. A great way to honor a loved one is to place a donation in his/her name.
Aside from monetary contributions, the FCCAU has other pressing needs: giftcertificates/cards for hair salons, department stores, shoe stores, cab fare, bus vouchers for Harford Transit, gas cards, phone cards, and hotel stay (along the Rte. 40 corridor). Other items needed include cleaning supplies (laundry detergent, softener, hand soap, anti-bacterial, wipes), paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, tissues, plates, cups, plastic utensils), over-the-counter medications (cold/flu, ibuprofen, Tylenol), items for women (body washes, body lotion, body sprays, socks), items for men (body washes, socks), trashbags, puzzle books, note pads, and pens.
Another way to assist the FCCAU’s mission is to participate in upcoming fundraising events:
- The Annual Basket Bingo will be held Friday, March 25 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Bel Air (across from Applebee’s) featuring 25 prizes – Longaberger Baskets and Vera Bradley Bags filled with goodies – and door prizes. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and bingo starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance/$18 at the door. “We sell out every year,” says Moscareillo, “It’s a lot of fun.” For more information, contact [email protected], 410-676-2018.
- Be sure to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings on Monday, April 11. Visit the FCCAU website the week before to obtain a special coupon entitling the organization to 20% of your purchase. Dine in or take out all day long to benefit the FCCAU.
These tough economic times have hit us all hard and the services provided by the FCCAU are of great benefit to many of our community members. In order to continue its operation, the organization depends on financial support. Visit the FCCAU website or contact the main office for more information on how you can help.
Contact information for the FCCAU:
1221-C Brass Mill Road, Belcamp, MD 21017, 410-272-2229, www.fccau.org