The four Lower Eastern Shore Counties of Maryland while known for their farms, beaches, and rural landscape, are also known for their poverty. Somerset, Dorchester, and Wicomico Counties are among the five counties in Maryland with the highest poverty levels. Worcester County is ranked in the top 10. In the four counties, over 31,000 county residents live in poverty and 37,000 are on food stamps.

Most of know intuitively that significant housing problems can cause family members to have health issues. Leaking roofs allow for water intrusion that over time can result in mold and respiratory problems. Winters without a functioning heater can result in health issues for the elderly and children, especially if the family resorts to the indoor use of oil or gas space heaters. Broken handrails and steps and uneven floors will eventually result in a fall that will send family members to the emergency room.

Safe and healthy homes are needed for all people in our area. This is why Chesapeake Housing Mission repairs homes for those living below the poverty level at no cost to them. Our mission is to restore hope and dignity to qualified low-income homeowners by repairing their homes as an expression of love for our neighbors. Through our research, our findings indicate substantial benefits to the work that we perform as it relates to the health of our clients:

95% reduction in Falls

11% reduction in Hospital Admissions

38% reduction in Hospital Admission Charges

35% reduction in Emergency Department Admissions

47% reduction in Emergency Department Admission Charges

61% improvement in Connection to Community

85% improvement in Daily Outlook

Our outcomes constitute a compelling case for the need to educate health care workers and homeowners on the impact of housing conditions on health, the importance of establishing linkages to healthy housing resources, and the role of Chesapeake Housing Mission and community leaders in making the homes of our citizens living in poverty healthier.

Please click here to see our full Healthy Homes Initiative report and discover the powerful impact of our supporters.

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