About the Religious Coalition
In 1981, people from local churches came together to form The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs. These people were aware of unmet human needs in Frederick County and of the Biblical mandate to serve those in need.
Our mission is to make our faith real through acts of faith that manifest God’s caring presence. We coordinate donations of time, talent, money, food and other resources to meet the urgent needs of people in Frederick County. From the beginning, we have provided short term emergency financial assistance to thousands of families with children, individuals and the elderly.
Our ministry touches the lives of more than 400 clients a month who come to our Service Center seeking aid, more than 300 people in shelter programs, thousands more through our 8 affiliated food banks and those provided information and referral services.
The Religious Coalition provides screening and coordination of services to the poor and needy families and others on behalf of the houses of worship in Frederick County.
The Religious Coalition is a Frederick County nonprofit, 501(C)(3) organization that was formed more than 27 years ago. Since that time, the organization has grown to meet the ever expanding needs of the community and has become the largest provider of emergency financial assistance outside the govornment in Frederick County. Important services such as shelter, food and healthcare are given to those in need.
In 1981, the Religious Coalition was founded to coordinate the efforts of local churches in Frederick Countyto help the poor. Many were the working poor, who through no fault of their own, did not have sufficient funds to meet ther most basic human needs.
The Religious Coalition worked as an all volunteer organization for our first10 years. As the needs of the community grew, part time Mission Volunteers were added along with some part time staff. The first employee was an executive director hired part time in 1991. In 1996 the executive director became full time.. The organization has expanded from a few volunteers in 1981 to a staff of 12 and over 500 volunteers in 2007. The organization's annual budget has grown from $250,000 in 1999 to a projected budget of over $800,000 in 2008.
The Coalition provides screening and coordination of services for local churches and encourages each Frederick County church to forward calls from persons in need to the Coalition office. In 2006, almost 18,000 clients, including families, received some type of assistance. They were served through housing assistance and eviction prevention, helath care assistance, aid with energy costs and a network of 8 food banks. More than 60% of the clients are single women with children.
The Religious Coalition began operating a shelter for the homeless in 1990. This effort has grown from a few individuals given shelter in local churches in 1990 to the opening of the Alan P. Linton Jr. Emergency Shelter in November, 2002. The Cold Weather Shelter provided a warm, safe haven for nearly 300 individuals in 2006. It has become the largest shelter in Frederick. The Cold Weather Shelter is open from November through March. Exodus Project, which is designed to move people away from homelessness and into independence, operates from April through October. This program, which began in 2004, has been very successful. In 2007, there were 26 clients. An impressive 70% graduated from the program and secured jobs and housing.
In the winter of 2007-2008, the Religious Coalition opened a day shelter for vulnerable elderly and disabled homeless clients, protecting these individuals during the coldest winter months.
After a very successful capital campaign, the Religious Coalition achieved a major goal of renovating an old garage on the site of Alan P. Linton, Jr. Emergency Selter, at 27 DeGrange Street, into a modern service center for the community. The building now houses the administrative offices for the organization and is an accessible site for the community. The Alan P. Linton, Jr Service Center creates a campus for all services at one site. This major step helps to prepare the Religious Coalition to meet the ever growing challenges of the community and to go forward in a new era of service in Frederick County.