The Religious Coalition seeks to alleviate and prevent homelessness and poverty for the citizens of Frederick County.
While for many of us “homelessness” seems like a blanket term, our organization sees vulnerable people—including families and children—who are in situations that are unimaginable to most:
A mother and her newborn baby sleeping in a car because the mother was evicted and cannot work. A diabetic who cannot afford his life-saving medications because the insurance prices changed. A man who lost his job and in the two weeks that he was not working received an eviction notice.
We want to prevent homelessness whenever we can, but we also offer an emergency family shelter and a year-round emergency adult shelter when people are in an emergency don’t have anywhere to go. The latter remains at full capacity even in the summer. Poverty does not take a vacation, and we serve the Frederick population that is on the brink of poverty and needs help with basic necessities like hygiene supplies, prescription assistance, food, eviction prevention, fuel, and security deposit assistance.
Our name reflects our origins. In 1981, various churches in Frederick County came together in order to provide more cohesive, one-stop support for those who were in-need. We still have a strong relationship with out faith community and houses of worship, but the services we provide are secular in nature. We are able to provide more together as a Coalition in a more unified way.
Instead of homeless adults staying in church basements in a desultory way, we now have the Alan P. Linton, Jr., Emergency Shelter, which is an adult shelter that operates 365-days a year. We also have an Emergency Family Shelter and are actively working on expanding that to a fixed-site model so that we can offer more stability to more homeless families that are in need.
A woman wrote to us recently with this incredible story of the hardship she endured and how we were able to provide for her. Stories like this keep us going, and highlight the importance of providing the simplest but the most necessary of needs:
“I just wanted to express my absolute gratitude. Last night was the first night that my girls and I have slept in our own home in seven months. A horrible custody battle that is in its third year has completely destroyed everything I have fought for since I decided to bring my daughters into this world. I am very emotional writing this because I am so thankful and excited for life again. The Religious Coalition did not just help me provide a home for my children but has given me hope and the strength to keep fighting for what’s best for my kids."
With support and advocacy from individuals and institutions in Frederick, we are able to keep our doors open, help the most vulnerable in our community, and shield them from the devastating effects of poverty.