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Bethesda Cares assistance programs.

Bethesda Cares supports struggling families and individuals in both the greater Washington DC area as well as Montgomery County Maryland. One key priority is on preventing future homelessness, and this includes both stopping evictions and rehousing individuals. Other services include free health care as well as food and meals to feed the hungry.

Applicants will need to go through an application process with an outreach specialist, and this individual will help direct the client to the support they need. If Bethesda Cares can’t meet the needs, then they may have referrals to other Washington DC area charities or maybe public benefits.

Eviction or homeless prevention is a focus. Before someone is on the streets, they should ask for any help that is available. They may be government grants that can help pay rent, landlord mediation available and other pro-active support arranged by Bethesda Cares.

For the currently homeless, case managers can help them get placed into an emergency shelter and enroll into self-sufficiency workshops or classes. This can then ideally lead to transitional housing, and then placement into a long term, low income apartment. Clients will need to go through a process in order to be re-housed though, but if successful there may be financial support for expenses such as a security deposit or even moving costs.

Food and meals are available across the District of Columbia from the Hunger Ministry. The non-profit Bethesda Cares partners with churches and other charities, such as Christ Church, in an effort to help the working poor or homeless and provide them sandwiches and other food. This can also include special Christmas services too. Some programs, such as Meals on Wheels, can provide food to the disabled or elderly as well.

Another food program is available as part of a service from CCPK Outreach as well as the Wheaton based Arcola Elementary School. There may be free bags of groceries for students over breaks or the weekends, and other support is available as needed too. Studies show that a student that has had a meal is much more likely to be successful in school.




Free personal hygiene items are distributed, based on donation levels. This may be free soap, razors, shampoo, and related items. A key partner in the region is the Women of Christ Church, and volunteers work to help the homeless and struggling in the community.

In addition to all of these resources, free or low cost health care is arranged by MobileMed. This is medical assistance for the working poor, uninsured, low income, seniors, and homeless in Montgomery County and Washington. Using mostly volunteers doctors and nurses, the MobileMed service will offer check ups, vouchers for medications, and other support to those that lack the funds to pay for care on their own. Programs can deal with illnesses such as obesity, hepatitis, cardiovascular problems, asthma, and other conditions. The program is based at 9309 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda, MD 20814. Call 301-841-0825 for details.

Another key partner is St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group, and this non-profit partners with Bethesda Cares to provide eye care check ups and services. This can include testing, exams, or information on where to get prescription glasses from. All services are offered at a reduced cost to patients.

Many other resources are offered. Bethesda Cares is focused on doing its part to address the housing crisis in the Capital, and they operate from a main office at 4001 Franklin St Kensington, MD 20895. If they do not have assistance, then another option is to ask for applications to public assistance for both short and long term support.




By Jon McNamara

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