Mission and History


Stepping Stones Shelter Inc. provides a continuum of services (emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing, and post-shelter support) to homeless families with children in order to move them from crisis to a stable home environment. By offering food, shelter and supportive services in an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Stepping Stones provides hope for the future, strengthens families, and promotes self-sufficiency. We achieve our mission by providing:

  • Case management services to connect homeless families to needed services in the community, and to help families develop income and housing solutions;
  • Employment counselors who work one-on-one to provide intense employment and career counseling;
  • Tutoring for the children and GED tutoring, if needed, for the adults;
  • Post-shelter support for families that have moved on from the shelter but still need help with referrals and in-kind donations in order to remain housed.

Organization’s History

In 1982, Stepping Stones Shelter, which began as a faith-based initiative in Gaithersburg a few years before, became Stepping Stones Shelter Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization and the first homeless shelter for families in Montgomery County. Located in the historic Dawson farmhouse in Rockville, Maryland, Stepping Stones has been serving the community for over 30 years. In 2002, we expanded our services when we started our Hope Housing Program, a collaboration with the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless to provide permanent supportive housing and ongoing support for two families (10 individuals) with a disabled head of household.