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Fifty years ago, a small group of faith leaders observed people living on the streets of Montgomery County and found it unacceptable. Those leaders represented different faith traditions, but they shared a commitment to a common belief: we must come together as a community to help our neighbors when they are in need.
Working together, they took action. Interfaith Works was born.
Since that first step in 1972, coming together to take action has been the hallmark of Interfaith Works. We started out providing shelter for people who had no other place to go. But over the past 50 years, with great contributions from staff, donors and faithful volunteers, our work has expanded to respond to the needs of our community, with 14 programs that are tailored to meet people where they are. Will you join us today to help our neighbors get the vital services they need?
Paying It Forward, Moving Forward
Thanks to you, we can help people like Ben.
Our staff connected with Ben when he was living in a homeless shelter for the first time in his life. After always being an independent working person, his world crumbled at age 37 when he was laid off from his warehouse job due to COVID and he lost his home when his unemployment benefits ran out. In addition, Ben suffers from a chronic medical condition. Living in the shelter was worsening his physical and mental health.
Ben was supported by our Rapid Re-housing Team which helps people experiencing homelessness for the first time quickly move out of the shelter by focusing on the issues that put them in crisis. Our caring staff member helped him address his health issues. She connected him with vocational assistance so he could find a job. She found him housing in just 12 days, partly due to Ben getting a new, sustainable job. And she continues to work with Ben as he makes more strides in achieving stability after so much turmoil. Ben’s gratitude for our staff member is clear in the thank you message he sent her:
“Prior to working with you, others that I turned to for assistance had made me feel like they were offering help because they had to and that they really did not care. Most of the time I had to ask people multiple times and still did not get the help I requested and needed. You have made and continue to make this experience very individualized. You helped remind me that there are people who are selfless and caring.”
“I am going to pay it forward and try my hardest to keep moving forward.”
Each year, Interfaith Works helps 35,000 of our neighbors like Ben through programs that address some of the root causes of poverty and provide pathways to stability.
These include a vocational services program to help people find sustainable jobs, a free clothing and home goods distribution center that assists more than 6,000 people a year, a food hub that has distributed more than 700,000 pounds of free food in the past year, and programs to meet people’s individual needs when they experience homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless. We advocate for public policies that address poverty and initiatives that provide greater opportunities and stability for our neighbors.
Every day, we follow in the footsteps of those bold leaders who cared enough to create what grew to become Interfaith Works. Montgomery County continues to change and grow. As we mark 50 years of responding to our neighbors’ evolving needs, your contribution will help us continue to be there when our neighbors need us.
We thank you for accompanying us on this journey forward.