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Nebel Street Shelter Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 7, 2022

On Saturday, March 5, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Montgomery County Councilmembers, Montgomery County Department of General Services (DGS) Director David Dise, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Raymond Crowel, and representatives from the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless came together for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly built Nebel Street Shelter in Rockville. View photos from the event here.

“The grand opening of this new 200 bed facility is symbolic of the shift in policy my administration has taken to enhance our support of our homeless population,” said County Executive Elrich. “This facility will enable us to fully implement our new shelter policy for the unhoused, so that people who are homeless have access to year-round shelter accommodations. The County's previous policy of only providing shelter during the winter months was not enough to serve a population that needs more assistance and support. During the pandemic we provided homeless people housing so that they had a place to stay and to slow the spread of COVID-19 in that community. It was the right thing to do, and it was in the best interest of public health. I asked our Departments of General Services and Health and Human Services to find us a location that would be more than a place to sleep. I wanted it to be a place where homeless residents can get help with things such as behavioral health and employment services. And now we have a new, one-stop shop, where residents can get the services and assistance they need. This facility will have a positive impact on the community and we are now closer to ending homelessness in Montgomery County. Our new approach to supporting the homeless will give them a shot at changing their lives. This is an important accomplishment for this County and I want to thank everyone involved in making my vision a reality."

The County’s previous policy offered limited access to shelter from April to October. During hypothermia season, shelter bed capacity expanded but without support services or day-time operations. Although emergency shelter does not end homelessness, the expansion of year-round beds and the new facility ensures that people are not sleeping outside and are rapidly connected to housing resources. It is expected that the shelter will serve 800-1,000 men annually.

“Emergency housing and shelter services play an essential role in Montgomery County’s homelessness response,” said Council President Gabe Albornoz, who also chairs the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. “The Nebel Street Shelter is a critical lifeline for County residents experiencing homelessness, including residents who face serious and persistent illness. This new shelter will provide around-the-clock emergency and comprehensive services to our most vulnerable community members and provide a safe place for residents to receive assistance. This public-private partnership is an example of the extraordinary things we can accomplish together for the betterment of our community.”

The Nebel Street facility is a critical component of the homeless continuum that will provide emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and will provide greater associated services, including primary care, behavioral health, and employment services.

“This new space will provide shelter and services to the County's residents for years to come,” said Dr. Raymond Crowel, director of DHHS. “Our goal is to prevent homelessness, but when it does happen, this will be a safe and supportive space where people can get help in finding a new home.”

The Montgomery County Department of General Services purchased the two-story building to provide sleeping quarters, meals, and medical and case management services. The 32,000 square-foot building was renovated from commercial office use to a homeless shelter with 200 beds and sleeping and living areas.

“The Nebel Street Shelter project is among the best examples of interagency and inter-department cooperation you can hope to see,” said DGS Director Dise. “Every part of County government, public utilities and agencies stepped up to make a project that would typically take 12 months, completed in half that time. This demonstrates the best in public service, as well as Montgomery County’s commitment to serve the homeless among us. Special thanks to the DGS team that lead the way.”

This new facility will enable the County to implement its new emergency shelter policy for the unhoused population so that they have a temporary place to spend their days until they are connected to permanent housing. The facility will be operated by one of the County’s nonprofit partners, the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH). MCCH has been providing homeless services in the community for over 30 years.  

“The new Nebel Street shelter will accelerate MCCH’s partnership with the County, providing emergency shelter with supportive services to meet the urgent needs of men experiencing homelessness and return them to stable housing as quickly as possible,” said CEO of the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, Susie Sinclair-Smith “This new state-of-the-art facility will increase the County’s emergency shelter capacity for men from 60 to 200 24/7 year-round beds in response to the exigencies presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to create social distancing and quarantine opportunities in a congregate environment, and to meet the needs of increased numbers of men seeking emergency shelter due to their loss of employment and/or housing. As the shelter’s operator for over 30 years, MCCH thanks the County for our close partnership in the design of this state-of the-art facility, building on our operational expertise gained from managing the program for three decades. The County’s emergency shelters serve as integral components of the County’s recognized leadership in the nation of successful strategies to end homelessness.”

This facility will ensure a full complement of homeless services is available for men in need of emergency shelter. The estimated project cost is $17.1 million. For more information, visit the DGS website.

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Release ID: 22-155
Media Contact: Barry Hudson 240-300-7348
Categories: Executive Office, Health