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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership Of Frederick County

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services

Mission: SHIP seeks to lift up Frederick County’s homeless youth so that they can realize their best potential, complete their education, and be poised to break the cycle of poverty they find themselves in. We rely upon the community (including human and community service organizations, businesses, educational institutions, government, and residents) to help us accomplish our task.

Target demographics: Homeless K-12 students to realize their best potential, complete their education, and be poised to break the cycle of poverty they find themselves in.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 100 students

Geographic areas served: Frederick County, MD

Programs: Immediate needs such as clothing and medical care, educational support, long term support for housing and education resources, life skills, sports, music and other empowering outlets.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a fantastic organization! The dedication and compassion they have for assisting homeless youth in Frederick County is unmatched. Did you know that an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness each year? Each and every small step in helping these kids makes a difference. It takes a village and SHIP serves as a great example of how we can harness our love and resources and make a positive change in this community.

Donor

Rating: 5

SHIP's work on behalf of vulnerable populations is what attracted my notice. At the moment, the best guess is that more than 900 k-12 students in this county have experienced homelessness in the past 12 months. That's a huge number of struggling students. (Some of them are unaccompanied minors.)

SHIP has developed an impressive portfolio of ways ANYONE can help. 1) They publicize efforts by other organizations (Stuff the Bus - to collect school supplies, for example). 2) They partner annually with many local retailers/service providers/government bodies to collect hygiene supplies, socks and underwear to have on hand. 3) They provide payment for temporary shelter. 4) An extensive network of ordinary folks watch for SHIP's notifications to provide specific clothing for specific children (as identified by public school personnel.) 5) SHIP posts info about medical needs in order to find appropriate providers who may be willing to reduce or waive some or all of their fees. 6) SHIP volunteers find sports equipment, art supplies, musical instruments, bicycles and other pricey items to help needy kids find their best selves. 7) SHIP recently sought advice/care for a pet belonging to a child in a shelter with a parent where the pet was not permitted (happy ending here, thanks to SHIP!) 8) The New Horizons Academy provides academic support, life skills training, self-care skills development to older students when school is out of session, 9) SHIP is about to implement a volunteer program for direct shelter for older homeless youth. I am sure there is more.

Fund raising for SHIP involves the entire community. From tip jar donations to Sunday School collections, SHIP funds come in creative ways. Public events (Walk-the-Plank, for example) have become annual fun events. I think SHIP staff are willing to go anywhere, any time to educate community groups and the general public about the scope of homelessness, the impacts on the future of Frederick County, and provide opportunities to help.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Four years ago, a young lady who was a part of the mock trial team at the high school I coached had to make the difficult decision to leave her family home due to an absolutely toxic environment. This was my first direct, personal experience with homelessness among students.

Three years ago, I served on a team of local leaders on a project for SHIP to determine the feasibility of a mentoring program.

These contacts with SHIP and the population they serve helped me understand something that I think most people don't understand. Student homelessness is real, it is a significant problem in ALL of our schools (yes even the wealthier ones). Frederick has 10 high schools and all of them (and the elementary and middle schools that feed into them) have students who are living in a homeless situation. Homelessness among students knows no socio-economic boundaries. Even in a county as relatively affluent as Frederick County, MD, more than 800 students are homeless.

As you might imagine, students experience homelessness have significant school attendance problems, are less likely to do well in school when they do attend, may have difficulty getting to school, and because they don't know where they will be sleeping that night, may be forced into changing schools regularly.

SHIP is leading the way looking for solutions to this problem. While we focus on Frederick County, our work is being studied around the state and the region.

2 Kristopher F.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have watched in awe as SHIP has increased its work and community outreach to help underprivileged children in Frederick County. For years, I was proud to just serve as a volunteer to the organization, however, when asked to join the board of directors, I could not say no. The daily impact programs including New Horizons, emergency shelter, and school support are unparalleled in our community, state and region. I am proud to call myself and SHIPmate and if you have not yet supported this organization, I suggest you check them out and join the fight to end youth homelessness.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been working with SHIP for over three years. What I am in awe of is where the school system is not able to provide the extra support our homeless children need, SHIP provides a bridge to the student and the School to do it differently.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A truly remarkable and absolutely necessary non-profit within the Frederick Community. The leadership team at SHIP goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of youth facing homelessness. Their hearts, passion, and dedication to the work they do is commendable. SHIP is strongly supported by the Frederick community and beyond. I can't wait to see the incredible things they accomplish in the future!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

They work every aspect to make the largest impact for vulnerable, homeless youth in our community by partnering with other charitable organizations and existing public services, engaging businesses, public outreach and sourcing, engaging schools and working with our government. The team provides a variety of resources for the specific needs of each child and tools for teens to successfully navigate transition into adulthood. Truly an organization I am happy to support!

3 Robert T.2

Donor

Rating: 5

SHIP is a great organization. I’ve donated many times over the years and have found them to be organized, thoughtful and efficient. And their programming for homeless youth seems pretty phenomenal.

3 Tara D.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I volunteer time, services, and money to this amazing group. The management is compassionate and cause is so very vital to the needs of the community.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy volunteering with and supporting SHIP. They do great work for truly wonderful people. They focus not just on helping in the moment, but also for the long term - breaking the cycle of poverty through education and inspiration. They help the kids see there’s so much more out there for them and to build their confidence in going after it. A great organization and a tremendous team.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Google the homeless statistics in your state and see the number of families experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied students experiencing homelessness. The numbers are staggering. That is why we NEED organizations like SHIP and why they are so important to the community they serve. SHIP is so beneficial for the young people and they provide a multitude of programs including emergency shelters, basic hygiene needs, clothing, activities, mentoring and educational support. They have a great online presence and communicate all the the programs and opportunities to get involved with on their website. Really great stuff! - N.Macdonald

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

SHIP is ever true to its mission: To provide for homeless students in our community so that they can graduate from high school. This is a many faceted program that partners with community organizations to get the job done. In our New Horizons high school program, we are proud to say all of our seniors have graduated on time!
Katie Groth

2 gwenromack

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with SHIP since its inception and admire and respect their work so much that I recently joined the Board. The mission, vision, strategy and execution out of SHIP are just exceptional. The Executive Director, Ed Hinde, is a masterful strategist, planner, and most importantly passionate about changing life for this vulnerable population. Every dollar is spent wisely, every volunteer hour truly cherished, and every child valued. I couldn't be more proud to be a SHIPmate!