Homeless, hungry, alone, no place to turn. This year, with your help, we will provide 35,000 children and adults with shelter, job skills, clothing, social services. Inspiring hope since 1972.
Why do we exist?
Montgomery County, Maryland is one of the richest counties in the nation. Yet 40,000 youngsters (1/3 of the county’s school children) qualify for free and reduced priced school meals. Did you know that when schools close for snow days or other emergencies, these children simply go hungry? Can you imagine being one of the hundreds of desperate individuals that will sleep in a tent in the woods tonight? What about the soaring number of middle class men and women, still out of work, trying to recover from the recession but frantically struggling to avoid losing their homes while still putting food on the table?
These are the realities that our neighbors are facing right now and it is our responsibility as a compassionate community to assist them when they are most vulnerable.
For 38 years, Interfaith Works (IW) has served the growing and changing needs of low income and homeless people in Montgomery County. We exist to offer dignity, hope and assistance to those most in need. Our programs provide shelter, food, clothing, housing, job training, emergency financial assistance, mentoring and social services. Safe and warm, with a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs and clothes on their backs, our clients can rebuild their lives and move towards a productive future. IW provides more than just shelter, food and clothing. We provide intensive case management that includes the real tools our clients need to achieve and maintain their independence. We do this with compassion, partnerships with 100+ organizations and resources, counseling and training programs that ensure our clients leave our programs prepared to succeed.
What have you accomplished?
Last year alone, our programs served over 30,000 low income and homeless neighbors in Montgomery County. These include working poor families, disabled adults, seniors on fixed incomes, those struggling with mental health challenges, and now, new victims of the recession. With the extraordinary assistance of 7,000 volunteers, we helped 3,500 neighbors avoided eviction and keep the lights and heat on by providing $200,000 in emergency grants and loans. Our clothing center provided 6,000 income-qualified individuals and families with free clothing and home goods. Our shelters kept a roof over the heads of 800 homeless adults, providing 65,000 nights of shelter.
Eleven years ago George Russell walked through the doors of Community Vision, Interfaith Works' day program for the homeless. George arrived with a history of short-lived jobs and nowhere to live. Welcomed with dignity, George began working one-on-one with an IW case worker. Clearly wanting and ready to change his life, George took advantage of every single vocational training class available and passed each with flying colors: Job Readiness, Financial Basics,
Microsoft Software Education. He beams with pride when he talks about pushing himself further and graduating from our Food Service Training, explaining that earning his Food Service Certification was “the first thing I ever finished in my life.” Today, George is a contributing member of society, maintains two jobs and is no longer homeless.