Good Works Spotlight: Lifestyles of Maryland
When you need help, do you know where to turn?
When individuals and families in Southern Maryland are in crisis, Lifestyles of Maryland is there to help. With offices in La Plata and Lexington Park, the nonprofit organization has been serving the area since it was created in 1998 to address the needs of the community.
The goal of the organization – and its partner organizations – is to connect people in need with the services and resources available to them. Lifestyles assesses the person’s needs, helps them determine their eligibility, and then guides them through the process of obtaining the services and resources fore which they quality. But it doesn’t end there. Following through is an important part of Lifestyle’s work to make sure the person’s needs are met.
And if there are gaps in services, Lifestyles works to develop programs that bridge those gaps.
Lifestyles operates several programs to assist people in need in Southern Maryland, including:
Samaritan Program: This program includes a food pantry, holiday baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and clothing assistance.
Safe Nights: Through this program, Lifestyles provides a warm place to sleep for Southern Maryland’s homeless. Safe Nights operates from October through April of each year. The program includes dinner and breakfast.
Emergency Assistance: When families and individuals are in crisis, Lifestyles can help with a number of issues. After determining eligibility through an interview, residents may be eligible for any of a number of services, including:
- Housing searches
- Subsidies for utility payments
- Employment training and placement
- Prescription coverage
- Legal services, counseling, and advocacy
Transitional Housing: Lifestyles operates several transitional housing programs that help people move into permanent housing. Each home has a specific demographic that is serves: Women and children, domestic violence survivors, homeless persons moving into semi-permanent housing, and homeless men.
Lifestyle’s efforts are helping large numbers of people in Southern Maryland. According to the organization’s website, Lifestyles sees about 14,000 people each year. In the past year, more than 119,000 tons of food were given out; 6,000 families and individuals were fed; and 5,000 nights were provided to those who needed a place to sleep during the winter. More than 200 people found permanent housing with Lifestyles’ help.
Volunteers are also needed to help with the organization’s various programs, including organizing the clothing closet, stocking the food pantry, and providing transportation. Got special skills or education that you’d like to share? Contact Lifestyles, and they’ll find a place for you and your skills.
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