8 million dollar facility for homeless

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It was a proud moment for the hundreds of hands that worked to develop The Shortest Path to a Better Life.

“This place, more than perhaps any other place for women in this country, will offer help and hope to women who have not had it for a very long time,” said Shane Rock, CEO of Interfaith Works.

Cornerstone Montgomery teamed up with CCI and Interfaith Works to provide safety-net services to likely more than 1,000 residents annually.

The facility took Donna Crawford off the streets of Montgomery County, giving her a bed, food, and her smile back.

“I love it here,” said Donna Crawford, resident of The Shortest Path to a Better Life.

It’s essentially a one-stop-shop to eliminate the need for travel; now, Donna can seek counseling without a hassle.

“I can be here, go up to my appointment, come back down here, rest, sit in the lounge, whatever,” said Crawford.

Between the three non-profits, people can access behavioral services, primary and dental care, and housing.

“It’s not about a hand-out; it’s about a leg-up,” said Mayor Bridget Newton, City of Rockville.  “If we give people the tools and the services that they need to be self-sufficient, that is a better world for everybody.”

Donna says she’s thrilled to have a space to call her own, but she has plans of moving on from just a bed and locker.

“Once you reach one goal, you gotta work on the next goal,” said Crawford.  “You gotta keep doing that until you get your ultimate goal.”

“People think about folks who are homeless as truly down and out, but some of them can be library assistants or work in our retail stores or in our restaurants, and yet they don’t make enough to live in a safe and clean environment,” said Senator Cheryl Kagan, District 17.

After three years and eight million dollars, the facility has opened its doors on Taft Court, but folks may start seeing similar models, across the state.

“This is a good example of something that we’re gonna want to monitor and try and spread to the other counties in the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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