The Family Home Start Program, launched in 2024, provides housing assistance to families that are experiencing homelessness and that have children in Howard County public schools. The program provides qualified families with a security deposit guarantee, first month's rent, housing search resources, and short-term case management. Family Home Start is funded by the County Executive’s Housing Opportunities Meant for Everyone (HOME) package through the Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development.

Family Home Start Flyer

For flyers in Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, visit our Community Resources page

Family Home Start does not provide a housing voucher or other long-term housing subsidy, and does not provide assistance for a move outside of Howard County. 

Eligibility Criteria:

    • Have one or more children enrolled in Howard County Public School System (HCPSS);
    • Meet the definition of homelessness as defined by HCPSS. Briefly, under this definition, you are considered to be experiencing homelessness if you do not have a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. Examples: sharing a home due to economic hardship or living in a motel, emergency shelter, or unsheltered place such as a car;
    • Earn between 40-60% of Howard County median income.

Example: A family of 3 must earn between $46,638 and $69,956 annually.

How to Apply

The application for Family Home Start is available now. If you require assistance with the online application, please see your HCPSS Pupil Personnel Worker (PPW)

Upon completing the Family Home Start application, you will be asked to provide the following documents:

    • State ID
    • Copies of paystubs or other documents that support the income reported in the application showing at least 4 weeks of income
    • Confirmation of homelessness status from HCPSS (provided by your PPW)

Documents can be emailed to with the subject line: Family Home Start - First initial and last name OR copies of the required documents can be dropped off at our office at 9520 Berger Rd., Suite 311, Columbia, MD 21046.