Working together in Montgomery County, MD

Interfaith Works collaborates with other nonprofits, faith-based organizations, government organizations and individuals in order to bring an end to homelessness and poverty in our community.

Yes, poverty exists in our county!

Montgomery County is the second richest county in Maryland, as measured by median income. So why does Interfaith Works exist? And why do we need your help? Very simply, a large number of our neighbors have an income that is much less than that median number.

In fact, 72,000 of us have so little income that we are considered to be living in poverty (as measured by the federal poverty level). And many more of us make too much money to be considered “poor” but don’t bring in enough to be able to afford the basic necessities.

All of us know that Montgomery County is an expensive place to live. Think about our taxes, and about our housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care costs. You know that they are all high. To live in Montgomery County, it costs a family of four more than $91,000 (“The Self-Sufficiency Standard”).

So we have neighbors who work hard but still struggle with not enough income. We have children without enough food on the table. We have almost 9,000 residents over the age of 65 who live in poverty, and 30,000 living below the self-sufficiency standard, and the county is steadily aging. On any given day, 1,000 people in Montgomery County are homeless, including 318 children. Over the course of a year, 4,000 people in our community experience homelessness.

As the years go by, more of us in Montgomery County are struggling:

  • Between 1990 and 2016, poverty increased 64.3%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, childhood poverty more than doubled.

Also, one in four households does not have enough money saved to weather a crisis. Many of us may need help for a short period of time until we can get back on our feet.

The good news is that the people of Montgomery County are generous. Our faith community partners donate time and expertise, as well as dollars. Our partner organizations know the connection between nutrition and health, between lack of housing and stress. We are a welcoming community that celebrates the wonderful diversity of our neighbors. Corporations in our community recognize the experience and knowledge of our staff and support us.

Almost 72,000 Montgomery County residents are living below the federal poverty line, according to U.S. Census data. Of this total, 19,757 are children.

 

Did you know?

No other county in the Washington region, including the District of Columbia, experienced increases in poverty of the same magnitude during the late 2000s.

894 people in Montgomery County are homeless on any given day, including 172 children.

More than one-third of students in public schools qualify for free and reduced-price meals.

Between 2005 and 2015, childhood poverty more than doubled in Montgomery County.

1 adult with 2 children must earn $85,926 a year to make ends meet, according to the county's self-sufficiency standard.

1 in 7 adults has limited English proficiency and approximately 58,000 adults lack high school diplomas.

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