Ten years ago this month, a group of concerned citizens from Talbot County met to discuss
the growing problem of homelessness in Talbot County and to develop a way to assist those in need in
our community. Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) was born!
Ahead of the organization’s milestone 10th anniversary, a shelter supporter who has been with the
organization from day one made an incredible offer to match the next $10,000 TIS raised. The call went
out to shelter supporters on May 15th, and with the help of more than 30 donors, including generous
donations from Tom and Cathy Hill and the Dock Street Foundation, the $10,000 goal was not only met,
but exceeded within 10 days.
That’s when another long-time shelter supporter stepped up to extend the matching challenge by
$3,500, with the potential for a higher match if that number is exceeded. At the time of this article, TIS
had raised $13,396 towards the new goal. Those who are interested in making a matching donation and
doubling the impact of their gift can do so on|ine at ta|botinterfaithshelter.org or by mail to PO Box
2004, Easton, MD 21601.
TIS served its first guests in the winter of 2008-2009. The organization began as a “homeless” homeless
shelter, rotating every couple of weeks between various houses of worship throughout the community.
Staffed by volunteers from 17 partner congregations, who did everything from moving cots to cooking
dinner to laundry or driving guests to take a shower, the organization was initially open during the
winter months. Due to fire code regulations, only five individuals could be served at one time.
In 2014, TIS applied for and was awarded a permit to operate a permanent, year-round facility at a
former bed and breakfast in the heart of Easton called Easton’s Promise. They can now serve up to 14
people at a time, including families with children. Through partnerships with the Housing Commission
of Talbot and a private landlord, they have procured eight off-site transitional apartments. This allowed
for the development of their S4 Program (Shelter, Stability, Support, Success). The goal of the program
is to provide guests with the tools they need to build sustainable seIf-sufficiency.
Guests start the program at Easton’s Promise. They work with TIS’ Operations Manager Fran Doran to
develop a plan that addresses their specific needs. Ms. Doran then provides case management
throughout their stay in the program. Guests are directed to the necessary service agencies, and are
provided with budget assistance, health and parenting classes, participate in a program called ”Getting
Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World”, and will soon be offered on-site GED classes.
Once they achieve a certain level of financial stability, guests are invited to move into one of TIS’
transitional apartments. The organization subsidizes part of the rent, and the guests’ portion increases
incrementally over time until they are able to take over all expenses. They are then monitored for a
period of time to ensure that they can maintain seIf-sufficiency, at which point they are able to move
out on their own.
To learn more about Talbot Interfaith Shelter and the S4 Program, visit ta|botinterfaithshelter.org or
contactJulie Lowe by phone at 410-310-2316 or via email [email protected].