In 1979, when there were no family shelters in Montgomery County, an interfaith group began taking in homeless individuals at a Gaithersburg townhouse. Soon after, they purchased a historic farmhouse, which became Stepping Stones Shelter. Today, the shelter offers a full continuum of services: emergency shelter, food and clothing, educational programs, and Permanent Supportive Housing for adults living with disabilities (and their children). Volunteers work closely with homeless children, offering free tutoring so that no one falls behind. Once families move on to stable housing, employment counseling and assistance with basic necessities like diapers, clothing, and school supplies helps ensure that they can continue to pay rent. Last year, Stepping Stones served 34 families in the shelter, provided post-shelter support to 50 families, case management to 8 families in permanent supportive housing, and took in 34 new families in crisis 93% of whom left the shelter with an income and a stable place to live. More than a stepping stone, your support means a new future for neighbors in need.

Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County

Where They Operate: MD-Montgomery County

Age Groups Served: Infants (0-2); Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Low- to Moderate-Income


  • Percent of families who move on to more stable housing:   84%
  • Percent of families who had income by the end of their shelter stay:   89%
  • Percent of families who created a budget while at the shelter:   92%
  • Percent of school aged children who attended tutoring while at the shelter:   94%
  • Percent of families who gained/maintained employment while at the shelter:   62%

Awards & Recognition

Rebuilding Together National Day of Service 9/2009
Bright Horizons Foundation Bright Spaces Project 10/2010
2 Board members and 2 Community Partners received Congressional Citations for their contributions to Stepping Stones and the community 10/2011
Total Wine award for one of ten Outstanding Montgomery County nonprofits 9/2015

Press

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Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Stepping Stones Shelter is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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