Catholic Charities Works to End Poverty

Too many Marylanders – 575,000 – currently live in poverty. This is 10% of the total state population. Poverty is high in both urban and rural areas. The Federal Poverty Level states that a family of four that has a household income of $23,850 per year or less is living in poverty. About 7.6% of seniors age 65 and up, 12% of women age 75 and up, and 13.3% of children live at or below the federal poverty level.

Working Poor

The working poor person is considered to have worked for at least 27 weeks but whose income still falls below the official poverty level. The Maryland Minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. The housing wage in Maryland, the wage per hour needed to pay the rent and utilities on a 2-bedroom apartment and spend less than 30% of take-home pay, ranges from $14/hour to $27/hour. 


Due to the recession, unemployment in the state has doubled over the past five years—from 3.6% in September 2007 to 7% in July 2012. As a result, 6% of children live with parents who are unemployed.

People with developmental disabilities have the highest unemployment rate of any group of Americans: up to 80% of people with developmental disabilities are not employed.


There are at least 11,698 homeless people in Maryland, an estimated 5,380 of which are children under the age of six.  

Of Maryland’s homeless population, 16% are considered “chronically homeless,” defined as individuals who have a disability, including serious mental illness, chronic substance disorders, or chronic medical issues, and who are homeless repeatedly or for long periods of time.

Maryland’s homeless population consists of 38% who are members of families and 36% who experience unsheltered living on the streets or other places not intended for human habitation.

Close to 100,000 (98,521) Marylanders have “doubled up” with a family member or friend and are a step away from homelessness.

How we help

Catholic Charities provides a variety of programs throughout Maryland to assist people who are struggling to make ends meet and striving to work their way out of poverty. These programs assist low-income people and families with achieving self-sufficiency through a range of transitional housing services, meal programs, education, employment, and counseling services, and through referrals to other support services.

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Shelters and Meals

Our transitional shelters, day shelter, and hot meal program help our clients secure the necessities of life – food, clothing and shelter.

Anna’s House offers transitional and permanent housing for homeless women and their children in Harford County. 

EarnBenefits helps low-income individuals receive immediate assistance to meet their basic needs and to provide them with information and resources to put them on the path to economic security.

Holden Hall provides long-term housing, case management, and support services for fourteen formerly homeless, disabled men. 

My Sister’s Place Women’s Center, open from 7 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., is a day program for homeless women and their children that provides shower and laundry facilities, case management, life skills workshops, and three meals each day.

My Sister’s Place Lodge provides a home for formerly homeless women diagnosed with mental illness.

Our Daily Bread is Maryland’s hot meal program, serving nutritious meals every day of the year to the hungry of Baltimore City. 

Sarah’s House is a supportive housing program for homeless families in Anne Arundel County.

Weinberg Housing and Resource Center provides temporary overnight shelter, case management, and resource referrals to people living in poverty in Baltimore City to help clients transition to permanent housing and self-reliance.


Employment Preparation

Assists individuals who are unemployed or underemployed to achieve and retain employment. Our Employment Services program prepares those with significant barriers to employment, such as lack of education and/or training, poor work history and social skills, substance abuse, and criminal background, to become independent of subsidized income, and ultimately independent of support services.

Christopher Place Employment Academy, an intensive 18-month residential program, provides education and training as well as emotional, spiritual, and addiction recovery support to formerly homeless men.

Family Stability Program (FSP) is a nationwide initiative, led by the Siemer Instutite for Family Stability and supported by United Way of Central Maryland. Families work one-on-one with a case manager who will assess your family's strengths, set and work on goals, and connect you to community resources. Provides six to nine months of intensive case management. Develop job search skills through one-one-one career counseling or attend Work 4 Success boot camp. Receive short-term financial assistance so your familly can remain housed and your children can succeed in school. Types of financial assistance are determined by each individual's family's needs.

Our Daily Bread Employment Services provide poor, homeless and disadvantaged persons with a graduated transition back into the workforce.

Senior Community Service Employment Program helps low-income individuals who are age 55 and older with their search for employment.

Project Fresh Start provides thirty-five families with safe and appropriate housing, while engaging children and parents in intensive, focused case management and support services.

Work 4 Success provides employment preparation and job readiness training.

Other Emergency Services

We provide direct financial assistance to Baltimore City residents to help with rent, utilities, and traveler’s assistance so they can begin the road to financial stability. 

The Samaritan Center provides direct financial assistance to help with rent, utilities, and traveler’s assistance so they can begin the road to financial stability.