Interfaith Works Community Based Shelter
(The Women’s Shelter)
We are called to service to act on our faith and the love Jesus has shown us.
The Community Based Shelter (CBS) in Rockville provides a safe haven for women who have come to a very difficult place in their lives for many complicated reasons. As a transition facility, the
shelter serves 30-35 homeless women on any given night during the year. While acting as a safety net, the program also directs the women to programs, counseling and classes that will move their
lives forward, away from the negative issues that brought them to this point and into a life where they may, one day, thrive.
For more than 25 years Mill Creek Parish has actively supported the Interfaith Works Community Based
Shelter. Members of our congregation were involved from the beginning, at the time when women were actually sheltered in the church building because there was no other facility for
The shelter is wholly supported by approximately 60 congregations in Montgomery County each providing three meals a day to the residents one week at a time. In the summertime at Mill Creek
Parish we generally have 40-45 volunteers providing meals and supplies for the women at the Shelter. Breakfast is generally cereals, fruit and coffee or juice. Lunch is a fairly typical
brown-bag meal of sandwich, snack and a drink. Dinner is prepared and served by members of our Church and consists of a wide variety of meals with side dishes ranging from a hot dog and
hamburger cookout to tacos, casseroles, and lasagna etc., served at the shelter.
Everyone who participates in this ministry has found it richly rewarding, fulfilling an essential, basic need for members of our community.
For more information you can contact our church office at 301-926-9024. For information on Interfaith Works Community Based Shelter go to http://www.iworksmc.org
Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH)
Approximately eight years ago, a member of Mill Creek Parish initiated an outreach project to provide brown-bag lunches once a month for the residents of the
men’s shelter on Gude Drive. The mission quickly took root in Mill Creek Parish. It was decided that the lunches would be made on the first Sunday of the month to coincide with
Communion. Our former pastor, Rev Richard Andrews, wanted to reinforce the connection and suggested we make the lunches in the Sanctuary following the Sunday service. Everyone was invited
to join in the project and, to this day, the work has included preschool age children, middle school and high school youth, adults, right up to many of our elders.
When we started this community outreach project, the summer population of the shelter was limited to 60 men. In the wintertime their maximum capacity was 150 men (a limit they often
exceeded). Because of the increased need in the community over the last 3-4years, they’ve opened more beds for men in the warmer months. In addition, the winter capacity has been
increased to 200 beginning on November 1st every
Providing the lunches costs approximately $250 - $325 each month and is supported by the generosity of the congregation.
What started as a family activity has grown to a wider circle to include friends, neighbors, and the MCP congregation providing brunch on Thanksgiving Day
and dinner on Christmas Day. The children in our family and those of friends have helped serve these meals since they were barely 5 years old. It’s now an important part of their holidays and
they very much look forward to it.
The many volunteers from MCP prepare mountains of food for these meals and often want to help serve the meal at the shelter. The food service space at the shelter is very limited and they only allow
8 or 9 people in to serve, so at times we’ve had to decline some offers to serve, unfortunately.
In the past, our family and friends put together small gift bags for the men at Christmas time. In the last 3-4 years, other families at MCP have taken up this task and done an incredible job
of pulling this together. We put the gift bags together in the Fellowship Hall after Sunday service, just before Christmas, and everyone (usually 25-35 adults and children) helps to fill gift
bags with gloves, hats, toiletries, sweatshirts, socks, and dental hygiene kits—whatever we’ve been able to purchase or get donated. The gift bags are handed out to the men at the Shelter after
we’ve served their Christmas dinner.
For more information you can contact our church office at 301-926-9024. For information on Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless go to http://www.mcch.net