The daily shoulder-to-shoulder throngs of people waiting for Interfaith Works Clothing Center in Rockville to open its doors each morning is finally a thing of the past. With Monday’s ribbon-cutting, the nonprofit that provides low-income families with free clothing, linen and other items now operates out of a larger and much cheerier, sunlit space.
The center will continue to operate in the former Edward W. Broome Junior High School, which still has the dank look and smell of a high school gym. However, everything has moved upstairs, where there is more space and even windows.
There, director Monica Barberis-Young along with the center’s small staff and 1,000 volunteers take the mounds of donated clothes, shoes and household items and sort them.
Everyone who qualifies, mostly due to low-income levels, is welcome to fill a large blue bag of items and carry out one large item once a month.
The clothing center that helped 13,500 people last year also is adding to its services and now will also offer its clients help with their legal, medical, housing and educational needs.
“In as rich a county as this,” there often are 50 or 60 families waiting for the center to open its doors Tuesdays through Saturdays, Barberis-Young said.