DENTON — Since 2011, His Hope Ministries has led the fight against homelessness in Caroline County serving 175 total guests in 2019, in 51 beds, and six family rooms.
Lynn Keckler, Executive Director, has seen the non-profit grow over the years and is excited for the future impact the organization can deliver for the county.
“I really like helping people and every year we keep growing,” Keckler said. “God has given me great opportunities and I have a heart for homeless people because I was once homeless myself.”
Keckler went on to describe how ‘on edge’ most Caroline County residents are when it comes to income.
“If you work 40 hours a week in a minimum wage job you can afford $525 a month in rent,” she said. “There is more people that are homeless than most people realize.”
Loge Knight, Program Director, has spent the last six months in the role and also assists the unaccompanied youth for ages 18-24 who are homeless and in need.
“We assist with housing, employing, life skills training, job readiness, and even helping get our clients in college,” Knight said. “We also have a peer support group that gathers once a month where our clients hash it out to discuss what services they need.”
Knight spoke at the Federalsburg town council meeting on Monday Feb. 3 and revealed how hard it is to find housing for young adults between 18-24 years old.
“Landlords don’t like to rent property to people in that age range, especially one with criminal records,” he said. “When I find a good landlord, I hold onto them and I need them to accept our youth.”
Knight went on to describe the number of homeless youth in the two high schools in Caroline County.
“There are 38 homeless students in the two schools,” he said. “Most homeless people don’t tell you they are homeless so it is hard to get a real figure on how bad the homeless rate is.”
“At the end of our program, we hope this is the last of the homelessness for our clients,” Knight said. “Caroline County is heavy with resources that people don’t know about and we are here to change that.”