Interfaith Works joined with great partners Shepherd’s Table and Mobile Med to celebrate one year of successfully serving people experiencing homelessness in Silver Spring at Progress Place (8106 Georgia Ave.).
Interfaith Works Empowerment Center at Progress Place provides many services, including vocational services, access to showers and laundry, access to overnight shelter in weather extremes, and guidance and connections to other services from IW case managers. Additional services, including meals and access to health care, are provided by Shepherd’s Table and Mobile Med.
IW CEO Shane Rock described the facility as “a place of hope, opportunity and stability” for people in crisis.
The celebration attracted a wide array of community partners, and included several residents who reside at IW Residences at Progress Place, a permanent, supportive housing program that provides efficiency-style living quarters to 21 men and women who previously experienced homelessness.
One of those residents is Michael, who kicked off the celebration by reading a poem he had written about his experiences and challenges with homelessness and becoming housed. He drew loud applause as he closed his poem with, “I can’t wait to see another day at my home Progress Place.”
County Council President Hans Riemer said he drives by Progress Place on a daily basis and sees “humans who deserve our care and support.” Councilmember George Leventhal noted, “I remember when this place was a gleam in the eye of a lot of us,” he said. “Now there are people living here, getting married, even writing poetry,” alluding to resident Michael. “This is a tremendous success story, but our work isn’t done.”
Amanda Harris of Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services echoed those sentiments, noting that finding suitable housing for people experiencing homelessness is “hard, hard work,” but added that it has been amazing to see the progress that Montgomery County is making in working to end chronic homelessness by connecting men and women with housing, including living quarters at IW Residences, through the “Inside/Not Outside” campaign.
Many thanks to all who attended, including:
Interfaith Works Board Member Kay Newhouse
Interfaith Works staff
Jacki Coyle and staff of Shepherd’s Table
Peter Lowet & Kathleen Luton of Mobile Med
Patrick McCarthy, Office of US Sen. Chris Van Hollen
Jarrett Moore, Office of US Rep. Jamie Raskin
Council President Hans Riemer
County Councilmember George Leventhal
Warren Hansen, Office of Councilmember Roger Berliner
Linda McMillan, County Council staff
Amanda Harris, DHHS Chief of Services to Prevent and End Homelessness
Commander Marcus G. Jones, Montgomery County Police Department
Ronnie Warner, Montgomery County Department of General Services
Reemberto Rodriguez, Director of Montgomery County’s Silver Spring Regional Center