Standing before residents of the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center, former resident Barbara Flanagan urged her peers to move forward with their lives by taking advantage of the Home Plate Housing Plan.

“There’s no place like home,” said Flanagan, who joined other former residents to discuss how they gained their independence and moved into their own homes just within the past few months.

The center’s Home Plate Housing Plan is part of the city’s Journey Home Initiative to reduce homelessness.

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world to finally have my own apartment,” said Flanagan, a Cumberland, Maryland native, who lived at the shelter for two years. Flanagan credits the center’s supportive staff for helping her have the confidence and determination to apply for Section 8 housing. 

Now nestled in her Druid Hill apartment, Flanagan excitedly awaits her sister’s visit from Cumberland. 

Since implementing the plan in April 2019, 46 out of 74 interested center residents have found a home.

“By clearly conveying the plan to current residents of the shelter, we hope to make homelessness rare and brief,” said Britt Mobley, program director of the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center.  According to Mobley, the plan helps sets forth two goals: to move quickly and house people within the community through rapid re-housing, family re-unification, and other shelter diversion housing options; and to proactively work with residents so that they have housing within 90 days of entering the shelter.

The housing fair also offered resources from Catholic Charities’ St. Edward’s Workforce Development Center, the Esperanza Center, Our Daily Bread Employment Center, and the Christopher Place Employment Academy.

It wasn’t all work and no play, though. Attendees also enjoyed grilled hot dogs, fresh lemons with peppermint sticks, and popcorn. Some even danced in an energetic Cupid Shuffle.