Three Nonprofits Serving Homeless Women at New Rockville Site

Lieutenant governor calls facility a model for rest of the state


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Shane Rock, CEO of Interfaith Works, describes one of the dorm rooms for homeless women at Cornerstone's new facility in Rockville.

Douglas Tallman

Inside a single building that opened in Rockville on Thursday, Montgomery County homeless women can find a bed to sleep in, health and dental care, and behavioral health services.

The site, at 2 Taft Court off Gude Drive, eliminates what could be four-hour bus rides between shelters and doctors, said Cari Guthrie Cho, president and CEO of Cornerstone Montgomery, which spearheaded the $8 million project to renovate the former engineering offices.

Her nonprofit, based in Bethesda, is providing behavioral health services, vocational supports, outpatient mental health services, life-skills training, and case management.

“This is an opportunity for women to find all the things they need in one place,” said Shane Rock, CEO of Interfaith Works, a Rockville nonprofit that is operating the site’s 70-bed homeless shelter.

Cho and Rock spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, which drew a number of elected officials, including Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.

Rutherford said the collection of services in one building could serve as a model for the rest of the state.

 

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (Credit: Douglas Tallman)

“It shows how the collaboration of nonprofits and government can address the ills of our society,” Rutherford said.

By having all the services under one roof, the organizations will better serve homeless women with mental health issues who often ignore their physical ailments, said José Luis Díaz, communications and marketing director for CCI Health & Wellness. CCI, which has facilities throughout Montgomery County and parts of Prince George’s County, is providing primary and dental care.

The project has been in the works for three years and Cornerstone is still raising the last $2.5 million of the total cost, Cho said. The bulk of the money came from county and state contributions as well as private donations. Part of the $2.5 million could be collected through naming rights, Cho said.

The building has four examination rooms for doctors to visit with patients. The site has a single dentist’s chair for now, Díaz said.

He said the organizations expect to better serve homeless clients by having the services in a central location.

Also attending the ceremony was former state Del. Henry Heller, who represented Leisure World. Cornerstone presented him with an award for his work with the organization and on this project.

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