Congregation and Community Emergency Support works with neighbors in financial crisis to provide a safety net and prevent homelessness. The Hand to Hand and Unmet Needs programs prevent evictions and utility cutoffs through loans and grants. The program provides struggling families with interest-free loans that are repaid in cash or through volunteer service, and distribute cash grants for emergencies, such as unpaid medical or utility bills.
We provide telephone and in-person consultation, contract administration for county and state client grants to Emergency Assistance Coalition (EAC), training, resource counseling, and resource materials.
- Hand to Hand (HTH) Project Safety Net: interest-free eviction-prevention loan program that builds self-esteem and personal responsibility
- Unmet Needs Fund: financial aid grants (when available) to clients for services that are not covered by other emergency assistance providers
- Holiday Linkage Program: links donors with our HTH families requesting food baskets and gifts during Thanksgiving and Christmas
- Eviction Prevention Education: workshops and educational video to teach tenants how to avoid eviction as well as their rights and responsibilities
- EAC Coalition Grants: county and state funds to assist clients served by the Emergency Assistance Coalition (EAC)
Caseworkers should contact our office (301-315-1108) for referral information and CCES referral forms. A CCES Referral Form with documentation completed by a county, nonprofit, or congregation caseworker is required for financial assistance through Hand to Hand Project Safety Net and the Unmet Needs Fund.
Friends In Action
Founded by Interfaith Works in 1986, Friends In Action – Amigos En Accion (FIA) – recruits and trains a network of people from all faiths and ethnic backgrounds, whose common interest is to provide caring outreach to needy families in our community. Volunteer mentoring teams are linked for one year in a supportive relationship to a needy family in their community. FIA provides a comprehensive approach to erasing poverty one family at a time.
The goal of the program is to help the family identify their strengths and develop attainable and manageable goals that guide them toward financial independence and personal well being. The success of this bilingual program comes primarily from the relationships forged between families, youth and mentoring teams. FIA mentors empower families and youth to in finding solutions to housing, health care, childcare, employment, parenting, and self-esteem issues.
Friends In Action began in 1986 with the help of Carolyn Parker, a resident of Montgomery County. She developed the model after coming in contact with a woman that had fled from her home with her two children. It was wintertime and the family had no place to go after leaving the abusive situation. Carolyn invited the family to come home with her only to realize that she had nothing to provide for them. She came up with the idea of bringing her neighborhood together to help aid the woman with the necessities the mother and small children needed. This comprising of the many people is the basis for the model of Friends In Action; bringing a team of friends together to help those less fortunate than others.
“We are people for whom caring for others brings meaning and worth to our lives; we are disadvantaged people wanting to work for the security of our friends in need of an aware and sensitive community; we are workers in County agencies wishing that we had more time for individualized caring; we are educators with special talents to share for the enrichment and enlightenment of our communities. We are friends in need; we are friends in faith; we are Friends in Action.” - Carolyn Parker FIA Founder
Interfaith Housing Coalition
Interfaith Housing Coalition is a wholly owned subsidiary of Interfaith Works and is an interfaith, non-profit 501(c)3 organization. IHC provides supported housing to formerly homeless families in 26 housing units scattered throughout the County. Families are supported by dedicated professional case managers, and when ready, families are linked with teams of volunteer mentors through Interfaith Works’ Friends in Action program, who give guidance, support and friendship as families work towards economic independence and social stability.IHC currently owns 16 properties around Montgomery County, both townhouses and apartments. In addition, ten IHC apartments are part of a partnership with Poretsky Building Group, in a small apartment community in Wheaton. IHC rents these homes to families referred by shelters and Montgomery County’s Department of Social Services. Families are accepted into our program based on their expressed desire to work towards economic and family stability.
Our Mission is to advocate an improved quality of life for homeless families in Montgomery County:
- Empowering homeless families in Montgomery County,
- Enabling families to move from shelters to stable, independent housing, and
- Preparing families for independence outside the program.
In collaboration with a diversity of local congregations and community organizations, IHC provides comprehensive case management and housing to ensure that families leave the program with the resources to earn a living wage, manage cash flow, debt, and savings, retain affordable long-term housing and build a secure future.
As a condition of being accepted into the program, each family must agree to work with a case manager to identify and implement family established goals. Program goals are tailored to each family’s unique situation. Families are also given the opportunity to work with mentoring teams from our award winning program FRIENDS IN ACTION (FIA) to help them with various goals as well as providing extra support. The mentors are recruited and trained from many congregations throughout Montgomery County. With the support of a FIA mentoring team, Interfaith Housing Coalition feels the families will be one step closer to independence in their own home. For more information please contact Monica Barberis-Young
CLIENT SHOPPING HOURS
Tuesday – Friday: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am – 1:30 pm
*Wednesday shopping is reserved for disabled clients only.
DONATION & VOLUNTEER HOURS
Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 2:30pm
Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am – 2:30 pm
Special projects at the ICC:
- School Supplies: each year, we provide over 2,500 students with backpacks filled with new school supplies so they can start the year with hope and excitement. This program is organized by teens from the community who spend part of their summer organizing and managing this program.
- Welcome Baby: In addition, Interfaith Clothing Centers provide over 200 expectant mothers each year with a full layette of new clothes, diapers, linens, and other new baby needs.
Interfaith Works would not be where it is today without its tremendous volunteers, who organize clothing drives at their congregations, businesses and schools, sort clothes, help clients shop, fill backpacks for distribution or crochet blankets for the new layettes we give expectant mothers.
Are you able to lend a hand? Learn how to get involved.