14 January 2022 MDVA News and Announcements

View as a webpage.

Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs

News and Announcements  -  January 14, 2022


MDVA Welcomes New Procurement Officer

Primary Logo


MDVA welcomes Tom Johnson, a new member of the team working at the Secretary’s office in Annapolis.  Tom is a U.S. Army retiree with 21 and a half years of military service. His military career included assignments with US Army Japan (Camp Zama), US Army Recruiting Command (Peekskill, NY), and United States Army Noncommissioned Officers Academy (Ft. Benning, Ga) to name just a few. Tom served in two combat tours to Somalia and Bosnia.

After his retirement, Tom continued as a Department of the Army civilian in the roles of Chief of Transportation, US Army Japan, G4 and Strategic Seaport Program Manager, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC), Scott AFB, IL.  Tom worked for the Department of the Army for over 10 years before joining the MDVA team at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home as the Property Compliance Manager. We are very pleased that Tom accepted the position of Procurement Officer and transferred to the MDVA  Annapolis office.

In addition, Tom received his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a minor in project management from Columbia Southern University. Tom is happy to be a part of the MDVA team and is looking forward to his expanded responsibilities.  

MDVA Website

Tom Johnson photo

MDVA Deputy Secretary Robert Finn (left) and Secretary George Owings (right), welcome Tom Johnson to the MDVA Headquarters office in Annapolis.

Women Veterans Focus Groups flier

Registration Links:

Central Maryland

Eastern Shore

Southern Maryland

Western Maryland

American Legion luncheon

A luncheon and Resource Fair was held for Veterans at risk of homelessness and unhoused Veterans at the American Legion Post 226 in Edgewater.  Maryland Veterans Commissioner Elaine May Stem attended the event representing MDVA Secretary George Owings.

State Partner News

Maryland's Committment to Veterans

Governor's Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Affairs

Maryland Flag Waiving

Stay connected to the many opportunities for training, networking, and business development that are taking place across Maryland and on virtual platforms. Here is a highlight of some of the events coming up this month. 


1/18/2022 - Business Bookkeeping Basics
1/24/2022 - Budget Planning 101
1/25/2022 - What Every Business Owner Needs to Know About Their Contracts
1/26/2022 - 2022 Statewide Conference: Thriving in a Post-Pandemic World
1/27/2022 - Prime Contracting in Maryland's Small Business Reserve (SBR) Program

Check out the full listing of small business events online at

Spotlight on Education: Morgan State University

Morgan State University Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (MSU EDAC) for the Women Veteran Entrepreneurs (WVE) Initiative: you are invited to attend the January webinar.

Please use this link to register January 27 webinar from 12:30PM to 1:30PM EST.

Governor Hogan Announces Opening of Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund

Will Support Mortgage Relief Programs, Housing-Related Services

Governor Larry Hogan announced the launch of the $248 million Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund, which will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to support mortgage relief, home repairs, housing counseling, and legal services.

“Across Maryland, there are homeowners who are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments due to the financial hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Hogan. “The programs we are announcing today through the Homeowner Assistance Fund will help keep Marylanders in their homes and support our state’s economic recovery.”

Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund. The State of Maryland will be distributing $248 million through the fund in the following targeted amounts:

  • Approximately $171 millionto provide loans to assist homeowners who have experienced financial hardship with their mortgages and $34 millionto provide grants to assist with property tax, homeowner association, and other types of delinquencies
  • $10 millionfor the WholeHome program to help homeowners with necessary repairs and energy efficiency improvements
  • $8 millionfor housing counseling agencies and $3 millionfor legal services providers to help homeowners navigate the foreclosure process
  • $22 millionfor program case management, administration, and marketing and outreach to ensure eligible homeowners, including minority populations and those in especially hard-hit areas, are aware of the relief

“Maryland was one of the first three states whose plans were approved by the U.S. Treasury in late November,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Our team has been working diligently to ensure we are one of the first states to deploy this assistance to those who need it most.”

Be Informed. Marylanders currently experiencing issues with their mortgage should contact their mortgage servicer—the company that processes their monthly payment—to inquire about forbearance and loss mitigation options. To be connected to housing counseling and legal services, call 1-877-462-7555. DHCD is awarding $4.4M in Fiscal Year 2022 to 29 housing counseling and legal services agencies that can help Marylanders access Homeowner Assistance Fund relief.

Program Portal. The Homeowner Assistance Fund will assist applicants who were unemployed or underemployed on or after Jan. 21, 2020, resulting in mortgage delinquency or forbearance and other types of homeowner delinquencies. Marylanders can determine their eligibility and apply by visiting homeownerassistance.maryland.gov and clicking on “Check Eligibility” under "Get Started." For assistance in applying or navigating the application portal, call 833-676-0119, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. or Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Emergency Home Repairs. The Homeowner Assistance Fund WholeHome Grant will help Maryland homeowners who have an emergency repair in their primary residence that they are unable to address because of the financial impact of COVID-19. Without addressing these repairs, it will cause the homeowner to be “involuntarily displaced” from the property. The grant will be capped at $10,000 and will be used to address any emergency repairs, including mold remediation, asbestos and lead paint removal, no heat or no air, electrical repairs, plumbing and septic repairs, and other structural and maintenance issues. For more information and to apply visit dhcd.maryland.gov/wholehome or call 877-568-6105.

Mortgage Servicer Help. The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation (OCFR) within the Maryland Department of Labor is responsible for regulating the mortgage service industry in Maryland. If a homeowner feels that their servicer is not properly participating in the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund, they may report their concern to OCFR by calling 410-230-6077 or by visiting labor.maryland.gov/finance/consumers to submit a complaint.

Visit homeownerassistance.maryland.gov for additional program details, including eligibility information, a document checklist, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources is Hiring

Are you looking for a new career in the new year?

The Department is hiring. Keep an eye on our jobs board if you are looking for a career working for Maryland's natural resources.

Hundreds of seasonal opportunities in Maryland state parks have just opened.  Applications are due Jan. 25.

More DNR News:

2022 Arbor Day Poster Contest Deadline Approaches

The Maryland Forest Service, in partnership with the Maryland Forest Conservancy District Boards, is sponsoring a poster contest for fifth-grade classes throughout Maryland.

The theme for the poster is "Trees Are Terrific….and Maryland Forests are Too." Statewide winners will receive tree plantings at their schools. Learn more about the poster contest.

Start Making Your Camping Reservations Now

Now is the time to reserve your campsites for the 2022 season. Spots fill up fast so get planning now. Our online reservation system makes finding your campsite a breeze!

Are you new to camping in Maryland? We can help. Check out our Camping Q&A page.

2022 Session of the Maryland General Assembly has Convened

The Maryland General Assembly is currently meeting in Annapolis for the 2022 Legislative Session.  As a service to the veteran community, information on proposed legislation of possible interest to veterans is provided below:

2022 Legislative Information

You may check the status of proposed legislation by visiting the:

Maryland General Assembly Website

Federal Partner News

Federal News

January is National Blood Donor Month

VA: Emergency Room, 911 or Urgent Care?

2022 Increase in Disability Compensation

VA Copayment debt relief options

Money from VA Disability and Pensions - how can it be used?

Get an Unfair Rating for VA Disability? Here's what to do next.

Board of Veterans Appeals: Temporary Suspension of In-person Hearings

VA Survivor's Benefits (DIC)

Healthy Habits: You have it in you

Live Whole Health # 104: Intention Setting

Live Whole Health # 105: Paced Breathing

Eight Tips to Get Better, More Restful Sleep, Health.mil article

Better Sleep can Help Veterans with PTSD

Winter Safety, Health.mil article

Has the Pandemic Impacted your Business? SBA Disaster Relief

Veterans Business Outreach Center at SBA: Veterans and Military Spouses

Mentors for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

VA Vet Tec Training

New Year, New Career: Why now is a great time to apply to VA

How to Get Help from Social Security

Financial Resources from Federal Agencies and Organizations

VA Resources for Financial Education

VA: Women and Money, Taking Control of Your Financial Future

The VA office of Outreach Transition and Economic Development (OTED) would like to inform you of our next 3rd Wednesday of the month Wellness Wednesday Financial Education series event coming up next week, January 19, 2021.

This class is titled “Women and Money” and will discuss:

  • Financial obstacles
  • Top financial goals for women
  • Confidence gap
  • and more…

The live class is being offered three times (and is not going to be recorded), so please join us at Noon or 3pm Eastern (9am or Noon Pacific).

Click here to sign up for this free class.


FCC Connectivity

More information on the Affordable Connectivity Program

Community Partner News

For Your Information

The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs does not endorse the organizations sponsoring these events, and we do not endorse the views they express or the products/services they offer.  The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of MDVA.  The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only, and serves solely as a MDVA community outreach effort.

Community News

Project Opportunity is enrolling for the FREE Spring Entrepreneurial Training Class to be held on the eastern shore. More Information


Sheppard Pratt: Housing and Employment Services for Veterans


Business assistance available for Veteran-owned businesses in Anne Arundel County


NAMI in Howard County offering free support groups to Veterans, Parents, Families and Tranisitiong Adults


Howard County Libraries offering United Through Reading to deploying MIlitary Parents


Howard County Library Veterans Book Group 2022

Dog Tag Fellowship Program

The Summer 2022 Dog Tag Fellowship Program application is now open! Please pass this news along to your networks—we are particularly looking for applicants in the Midwest or Mid-Atlantic regions of the US, but encourage all to apply!

Program information, eligibility requirements, application instructions, and the application link can all be found at dogtaginc.org/apply.


ServingTogether offers service members, veterans and their families access to a class-leading continuum of providers that runs the gamut from superior mental health, housing, and emergency service providers to employment, financial capabilities, education, volunteering, recreation and fitness, and more! We are able to track client progress, communicate with providers and ensure the veterans are truly getting what they need all free of charge.  

 Serving Together has been immensely successful in building a dynamic team that is truly devoted to the mission of the organization. This team has tangible, personal connections to our veterans and genuine concern for their best outcomes. ServingTogether provides peer navigation, collaboratives, guides, education, and training. Please visit our Website for more information.  


Community Calendar

January 25, 2022

JobZone Job Fair, Pax River

January 26, 2022

2022 Maryland Small Business Development Center Statewide Conference: Thriving in a Post-Pandemic World

January 27, 2022

Job Fair, Joint Base Andrews

January 28, 2022

National Awareness of Human Trafficking, Blind Eyes Opened Documentary, Mechanicsville

January 29, 2022

Fundraiser to Benefit Disadvantaged and Homeless Veterans, Newberg, Register

National Awareness of Human Trafficking, Blind Eyes Opened Documentary, Prince Frederick

January 31 & Feb. 1

Roundtable Discussion: GI Bill, Regarding Male/Female Disparities and Protecting Our Families. More Information and Flier

February 8, 2022

Baltimore Military Muster

Message for New Subscribers:

Is this your first edition of the MDVA newsletter?  If so, welcome!  You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up to receive it from our website or you gave permission to an MDVA program, the MD Motor Vehicle Administration or MD Department of Labor to receive information on VA benefits and resources.  We at MDVA respect your privacy and DO NOT share your email address.  We hope you enjoy receiving our bi-weekly newsletter and find it both educational and engaging.  If you have questions about our Department, our Programs, or your VA benefits, please visit veterans.maryland.gov or call 410-260-3838.