A Wider Circle

A Wider Circle (awidercircle.org) seeks to end poverty with a holistic approach integrating on-the-ground services for the creation of stable homes, workforce development and neighborhood revitalization. The organization also seeks to develop large-scale solutions that incorporate greater awareness and engagement by the community.

Headquartered: Silver Spring

Serves: Metro region

What a donation buys:

• $50 covers the cost of baby items for a new parent.
• $600 furnishes the home of a family of four.
• $1,000 provides comprehensive employment assistance for four job seekers.

Volunteer opportunities:

• One day: Organize furniture in the showroom, sort clothing, or receive donations from community members.
• Weekly: Serve as a workforce volunteer, including a subject matter expert; provide resume-writing support; or provide administrative support in the offices.
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• Internships


Bethesda Cares

Bethesda Cares (bethesdacares.org) helps people suffering chronic homelessness find paths to safe, permanent housing, while also easing their lives through its drop-in center, daily hot meal program, clothing closet and mental health services. Bethesda Cares also works directly with landlords and utility companies to prevent low-income residents from spiraling into homelessness.

Headquartered: Bethesda

Serves: Montgomery County

What a donation buys:

• $100 supports the efforts of caseworkers to provide COVID vaccines to five individuals experiencing homelessness.
• $500 covers move-in expenses for a homeless veteran household to obtain housewares, cleaning supplies and personal care items.
• $1,000 serves as a security deposit for a newly housed client.

Volunteer opportunities:

• Volunteer programs are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.
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Housing Unlimited

Housing Unlimited (housingunlimited.org) currently provides 228 individuals with affordable homes at 83 fully furnished properties. Housing Unlimited empowers people in mental health recovery to live on their own and learn the skills they need to be successful and confident members of the community.

Headquartered: Silver Spring

Serves: Montgomery County

What a donation buys:

• $250 provides pots, pans, plates and tools for a new home.
• $1,000 covers living room furnishings for a new townhome.
• $10,000 supports an AmeriCorps intern to help serve 228 residents.

Volunteer opportunities:

• One day: Help landscape or mulch a yard.
• Weekly: Provide administrative help, such as data entry assistance, at the Housing Unlimited office.


Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless

Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (mcch.net) supports 1,600 veterans, families and individuals annually who have experienced homelessness, providing emergency shelter and permanent housing, and creating a community where everyone has a safe, stable and affordable place to call home.

Headquartered: Rockville

Serves: Montgomery County

What a donation buys:

• $250 provides two formerly homeless children with coaching and mentor support.
• $1,000 provides move-in kits for four veterans who are ending their homelessness and moving into a new home.
• $10,000 provides a month of rental assistance for 10 formerly homeless families now living in permanent supportive housing.

Volunteer opportunities:

• One day: Collect move-in kits and cleaning supply kits for clients.
• Ongoing: Provide prepared meals for the men’s shelter or supportive housing sites.
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Montgomery Housing Partnership

Montgomery Housing Partnership (mhpartners.org) is a private nonprofit developer of affordable rental housing, managing over 2,275 homes. MHP houses people, empowers families and strengthens neighborhoods. For more than 30 years, MHP has acquired, rehabilitated, built and managed quality affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families and provided Community Life programs for its residents.

Headquartered: Silver Spring

Serves: Montgomery County

What a donation buys:

• $250 provides supplies for an after-school homework club.
• $1,000 helps cover two field trips for 72 children to the National Zoo.
• $10,000 covers the stipend for one AmeriCorps member to support Community Life programs.

Volunteer opportunities:

• One day: Participate in food delivery for residents in need due to COVID-related loss of income.
• Ongoing: Join the outreach team working remotely with residents to connect them with community resources.
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• Internships


Rainbow Place

Rainbow Place (rainbowplace.org) is an emergency winter shelter for women that is open annually from Nov. 1 through March 31. In addition to shelter, guests are provided three daily meals, access to shower and laundry facilities, counseling and other resources necessary to transition out of homelessness as well as assistance with transportation costs for activities related to achieving health, employment and stability.

Headquartered: Rockville

Serves: Montgomery County

What a donation buys:

• $75 sponsors a bed for a night.
• $500 sponsors a bed for a week.
• $1,000 sponsors a bed for an entire winter month.

Volunteer opportunities:

• One day: Prepare lunch or dinner.
• Ongoing: Serve on the fundraising committee.
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Rebuilding Together Montgomery County

Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (rebuildingtogethermc.org) provides free home repairs, accessibility modifications and energy efficiency improvements for vulnerable seniors, individuals with disabilities, veterans and low-income families with children to enable them to remain in their homes.

Headquartered: Gaithersburg

Serves: Montgomery County

What a donation buys:

• $250 provides handrails and grab bars so an older adult can age in place.
• $1,000 secures a working stove and new hot water heater for a single veteran.
• $10,000 replaces a leaking roof, remediates damage caused by mold and prevents structural hazards that threaten to make a home unlivable.

Volunteer opportunities:

• None at this time.
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• Internships


Stepping Stones Shelter

Stepping Stones Shelter (steppingstonesshelter.org) offers emergency shelter and support services each year to approximately 95 Montgomery County homeless and formerly homeless families with children. Shelter services include case management, financial management and workforce development programs, all geared toward helping families move on to stable housing quickly and responsibly.

Headquartered: Rockville

Serves: Montgomery County

What a donation buys:

• $250 provides 10 cartons of diapers for homeless families.
• $1,000 provides grocery store gift cards for 20 families as they move out of the shelter and into permanent housing.
• $10,000 buys a year of one-on-one money management counseling and monthly employment workshops for 30 families.

Volunteer opportunities:

• Ongoing: Make or order in a meal for six families.