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County Awards $200,000 to Support Security Needs of Faith-based Community

For Immediate Release: Friday, March 22, 2019

County Executive Marc Elrich announced that 12 County faith-based organizations will receive grant funding from the Faith-based Facilities Security Operating Grants program.

The funds are provided to support faith-based institutions which have experienced, or are at high risk of experiencing, hate crimes. The funds are administered by the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Emergency Management (OEMHS). 

“This faith-based security grant is another way Montgomery County affirms our support for our neighbors of every religion, race and ethnicity and demonstrates our steadfast commitment to protect basic human rights,” said Elrich. “While there is no information about specific, recent threats in Montgomery County, the senseless and vile act that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand reminds us that hate and evil can callously destroy peace without warning. These grants will provide faith-based organizations with additional resources to enhance their security.”

The program is a one-time grant that supports County faith-based religious institutions’ efforts to enhance security staffing and planning. Funding for the grants was initially proposed by former County Executive Leggett in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack. It was approved by the previous Council in November of 2018.  Grant awardees include:

Entity

Award Amount

Provides for:

Islamic Community Center of Potomac Inc.

$20,000

Security Staffing

Islamic Education Center Inc.

$20,000

Security Staffing

Islamic Society of the Washington Area

$20,000

Security Staffing

Muslim Community Center Inc.

$20,000

Security Staffing

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington Inc.

$100,000

Security Staffing

Allen Chapel A M E Church Inc.

$2,000

Security Staffing

Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church, Inc.

$2,000

Security Staffing

Guru Nanak Foundation of America

$4,750

Security Staffing

International Society for Krishna Consciousness ISKCON of DC

$1,000

Security Staffing

Olive Branch Community Church Inc.

$1,000

Security Drill

Reid Temple AME Church

$4,750

Security Staffing

Takoma Park Seventh-day Adventist Church

$4,500

Security Staffing

The Montgomery County Council approved the $200,000 in grant funds as an amendment to the fiscal year 2019 budget in November 2018, which means funds will be available this spring, after formal Council approval and the signing of contracts with the facilities listed above.

In addition to the grant funding, OEMHS and Montgomery County Police will provide additional support to all applicants who indicated the need for assistance with security. Applications were submitted to OEMHS from December 11, 2018 to January 11, 2019. There were 30 applicants deemed eligible for the grant and requests significantly exceeded available funding. Applications were reviewed by a panel who assessed their threat level and need. Their recommendations were then sent to the County Executive, prioritizing those faith-based facilities and communities at highest risk of being the target of a hate crime. Although the County was not able to award funding to all applicants, they will provide classes, assessments, and training in the coming year, which is specifically designed for faith-based facilities.

To qualify for grant funding, applicants were required to be a Montgomery County faith-based organization or facility at higher risk of becoming a target of hate crimes. All awardees are registered as an IRS registered 501(c)3, tax-exempt non-profit organization which is in good standing with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation. Funds can only be used to provide security support for facilities located within the County.


Release ID: 19-091
Media Contact: Judy Stiles 240-463-2442