The Equity Center

The Equity Center is a community recovery and social enterprise endeavor in the heart of Montgomery County serving particularly vulnerable and historically ignored communities in Montgomery County whose challenges have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our Mission is to advance equity and justice, empower generosity, and improve the quality of life in the the Gaithersburg/Montgomery Village area. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately devastated communities already vulnerable to systemic inequities, social/ethnic marginalization, and immigration insecurity. The Equity Center exists to offer effective solutions to post-pandemic recovery needs through innovative ideas, nimble infrastructures, and collaborative approaches.

We offer the following services:

Food

We provide culturally appropriate fresh produce, staple foods, and resources. Over the past two years, we have rescued and distributed over 2.5 million pounds of food, including fresh produce, dairy, and meet, through large-scale “Grab-And-Go” food distributions, smaller community partner events, and the Montgomery County Summer Meals program.

Health

We partner with local hospital systems to improve community health, expand access to healthcare, and decrease inappropriate and unnecessary use of emergency room resources through the following strategies:

  • Training and certifying community leaders in health and wellness services.
  • Offering free Covid testing and vaccinations
  • Enrolling community members in health management programs
  • Offering free health screenings for conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Offering nutrition, cooking, exercise, and family health classes
Finances

We provide economic resources and training to the local community. In 2021, we became a certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site and served 220 low-income clients, bringing home $584,000 in refunds and credits. We also offer financial literacy courses and workforce development services including mentoring, career counseling, job placement help, and resume assistance.

Resource Connection

We aim to connecting constituents with available services, including:

  • Referral desk for mental health services, rent and eviction assistance, education help, food assistance (SNAP, WIC, etc); health insurance/Medicare
  • Immigration Assistance: pro-bono guidance; case management support
Social Space

We aim to provide space for community connection, including:

  • Public access to computers with enhanced broadband WiFi connectivity
  • New Community Center/Cafe (Cyber and Coffee)
Early Childhood Education

We enroll families in The Basics development program, an early education and community development program originating out of Harvard. For more information, visit www.thebasics.org. 

Our Core Values: Dignity, Hospitality, and Community

We live out these values through the Equity Center. The aim is to not only meet the practical needs of constituents but also further the higher needs for individual agency, self-worth, personal connection, and belonging.

Our Team