About Us

Interfaith Works, founded in 1972, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency and a non-sectarian interfaith coalition of more than 165 affiliated congregations of diverse faiths working together to meet the needs of those experiencing poverty and homelessness in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Our Mission: To support our neighbors in need by providing vital services and a pathway to greater stability.

Our trained, professional staff members work with individuals and families in crisis to provide access to food, clothing, and household goods, emergency financial aid, emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, and employment services. We do this by leveraging relationships with those in our community to help more than 35,000 people each year.

Interfaith Works is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Doing so is aligned with our core values of compassion empowerment, inclusion, respect, and social justice. Hiring and retaining a workforce that reflects our community allows us to improve how we serve our neighbors in Montgomery County and inspires just solutions. We believe the attention given to diversity, equity, and inclusion makes us a better organization.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement
Interfaith Works is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Doing so is aligned with our core values of compassion, empowerment, inclusion, respect, and social justice.  Hiring and retaining a workforce that reflects our community allows us to improve how we serve our neighbors in Montgomery County and inspires just solutions. We believe the attention given to diversity, equity, and inclusion makes us a better organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

(get a printed version here)

Q. What is the organization’s mission?

  • Our mission is to support our neighbors in need by providing vital services and a pathway to greater stability.

Q. Why are you called “Interfaith Works” – are you a religious organization?

  • Interfaith Works was founded in 1972 by leaders of a handful of faith communities, primarily Christian and Jewish, who saw people living on the streets of Montgomery County and decided to do something about it. That was the foundation of the organization.

Today, faith community support for and partnership with IW has grown to include over 150 communities today, representing a wide array of faith traditions. The organization is multi-faith, and there is no religious component to any of IW’s services. What unites all our supporting faith communities is their shared commitment to helping our neighbors who are struggling, and to working to address poverty in our community.

Q. Montgomery County is one of the richest communities in the country – why is there a need for your organization?

  • Despite affluence in some parts of our community, about 7% of our neighbors (72,305 people) live on incomes that are below the Federal Poverty Line (which varies based on family size). This includes 14.9% of female-headed households with children under 18. Families of color are disproportionately experiencing poverty in our County, a situation that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q. What kind of programs do you offer?

  • IW’s programs are intended to meet people where they are, no matter what their challenges. Our programs address many aspects of individuals’ and families’ needs – from housing, clothing, and food, to job readiness and finding sustainable employment.
  • We provide short-term (emergency) shelter; longer term, community-based supportive housing programs; free clothing and food distribution; services to connect families and individuals to vital services like legal assistance, healthcare, English classes and help with rent and utilities; and vocational services to help people find and maintain sustainable employment. IW also advocates for policies and programs that help people with low incomes achieve stability and gain access to opportunities to thrive.

Q. How many people do you help?

In fiscal 2021, our programs had the following impact:

  • 12,370 individuals received clothing or household goods
  • Approximately 21,500 individuals received food
  • 1,109 people were housed or sheltered
  • 210 people were served with job counseling with 58% placed in jobs, earning a collective $3 million annually

Q. Where does your funding come from?

IW’s current operating budget is approximately $8.7 million and its sources of funding are:

  • 81% ($7.1 million) in contracts with Montgomery County government and other governmental entities (to operate emergency shelters and other functions);
  • 9% ($766,000) in donations from individuals, businesses and faith communities;
  • 8% ($687,000) in private foundation grants; and
  • 2% ($214,000) in program income.

In addition, IW receives $5-6 million a year in in-kind donations to the IW Clothing Center and other IW facilities.

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