Christ Church Link is an outreach ministry of Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia, Maryland, established in 1996. In the last 18 years, Christ Church Link (CCL) has personally assisted over 16,000 people in crisis. Our telephone referral network continues to serve approximately 1,000 individuals per year aiding them with eviction prevention, assistance with utility turn offs and prevention, food, housing and shelter referrals, medical and dental care, employment, senior services, veterans and transportation for all Howard County residents regardless of faith, race, nationality, age, disability or gender.
CCL staff and volunteers provide informed, compassionate assistance to our neighbors in crisis. Each call is handled with care, confidentiality and a commitment to solve some of the immediate financial needs of those in crisis in our Howard County community. CCL serves as an advocate for many clients, who are overwhelmed by the extensive bureaucracy encountered in their urgent search for help. We serve as a guide and mentor to help them navigate through the various agencies' requirements. CCL offers a calm presence and gives structure to the complex quest to survive a crisis in the lives of families living on the brink of homelessness and hunger.
CCLINK'S OUTREACH PROJECTS INCLUDE:
The heart of our ministry; guides callers to aid for: eviction and utility turn-off prevention, food, medicine, health care, shelter, jobs, and other crisis needs. We handle over 1,000 incoming crisis calls each year, plus thousands of follow-up calls, and dozens of support consultations for county human service agencies and non-profits. CCLink differs from other I & R services in that our staff and volunteers not only provide resource phone numbers, agency requirements, and advice on seeking aid, but also follow-up with callers to see if they've received help. In crisis situations, advocacy support may also be offered to intercede for them with aid resources.
CCLink identifies county residents' unmet needs via the crisis helpline, then develops and nurtures community-based solutions, for example:
Prepare for Success: CCLink founded and, from 2000 to 2009, coordinated this county-wide, award-winning partnership that has now equipped over 23,000 Howard County Public School System students from low-income families with backpacks filled with essential school supplies. CCLink and Christ Episcopal Church remain active partners in the PFS program.
Food Drives: Our latest project, provides much needed food for families in crisis during the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) as well as during the summer months when schools are closed.
Alianza de la Comunidad: CCLink helped launch this Hispanic community support center to advocate for and ensure access to services for Spanish-speaking county residents. Emphasis on: health care, parenting and other core issues.
Our Brothers' Keepers: Launched in October 2010, is a gathering of faith groups to brainstorm strategies to work together to more effectively provide crisis support to county residents.
CCLink coordinates the collection and distribution of Christmas gifts and clothing for nearly 200 children from families in need each year. These items are donated by Christ Church parishioners, as well as other families and businesses in the community.
CCLink plays an active role in the community working with human service partners to focus more on immediate crisis needs. Link's involvement includes:
Click to go to † Christ Episcopal Church † website