The last time we checked in with Cooper Beeson, he was just getting the ball rolling on a plan to open a lemonade stand to benefit homeless children across Baltimore County.
He was presenting his plan to the activist group Baltimore County Communities for the Homeless after discovering the staggering number of students his age who were homeless.
Members passed around a few dollars to get Cooper started on his project.
and 173 Facebook recommendations later, Cooper exceeded his $600 goal and now heads into this weekend's lemonade stand with a lofty $1,000 target.
Cooper has spent his summer telling his friends and family about the stand, which will sell lemonade for $1 a cup at Seminary Park on Aug. 11 (one day after his birthday).
The student said he told his closest friends that instead of gifts, he'd prefer they donate the amount they would've spent on presents to be spent on donations to the cause.
The stand is sponsored by the Lutherville-Timonium Recreation Council. The Beeson family wanted to issue a personal thank you to for donating a $25 gift card for materials.
Those who can't make the event can send cash or check donations to Baltimore County Communities for Homeless at BCCH, P.O. Box 6860, Towson, MD 21285.
Facts about homelessness in Baltimore County (from www.bcchcares.org):
Approximately 550 men, women, and children reside in Baltimore County shelters daily.
An average of 40 requests for shelter are received by the Baltimore County Homeless Screening Unit each day.
Over 6,000 unduplicated homeless are served each year in Baltimore County alone.
2014 homeless children attended Baltimore County Public Schools during the 2011-2012 school year. This is an increase of 100 children from the 2010-2011 school year.
According to the results from the 2012 Point-in-Time Census, 29% of the homeless reported being homeless for the first time.
In 2011, Health Care for The Homeless Baltimore County received 2387 visits from individuals experiencing homelessness. The most common adult health conditions were hypertension, diabetes, heart and lung diseases, flu and colds, mental health disorders, and substance abuse. Pediatric patients made up 9% of the clients seen and were most commonly treated for respiratory illness, ear infections, well child care and immunizations, and behavioral and developmental concerns. 59% of patients had health insurance when they initiated care at HCH.
The fair market rent for a 2-bedroom unit in Baltimore County is $1,231.00 per month. This means that a minimum wage worker earning $7.25/hour in central Maryland would need to work 128 hours per week in order to afford the housing costs of a 2-bedroom unit.
Did you know that it costs approximately $37,200 to shelter a family of 4 for one year? In comparison, to rent a 2-bedroom apartment, it costs approximately $14,000 per year.
The #1 reason for homelessness in Baltimore County is job loss and eviction.
Additional causes for homelessness are: lack of affordable housing; poverty; physical & mental health concerns; vulnerability of single parents & extended families; foreclosure; domestic violence; effect of political trends & influence; and natural disasters.
Many households are only two paychecks or a medical illness away from homelessness.