New Religious Coalition Head Ready To Tackle Challenges Ahead

He will take over officially on May 1st.


Frederick, Md (KM). A seven-year employee of the Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs will officially take over as Executive Director on May 1st. Nick Brown replaces Reverend Brian Scott, who retired late last year.


Speaking with WFMD News, Brown said he will work to chart the future of the local non-profit organization. “The thing I will be focusing on is becoming more of the strategicizing executive director, to really draw that long throw, to secure our future funding and our future partnerships,” he said


But Brown says the Religious Coalition will still continue providing services to those in need. “We will certainly not lose sight of what we’ve traditionally done,” he says. “Our services will certainly stay intact.”


Some of those services include assistance for those who are having trouble paying their rent and are in danger of eviction. Also, assistance to help pay for electric bills, especially when it’s extremely cold outside. The Religious Coalition also operates the Alan P.Linton Emergency Shelter on DeGrange Street.


He says the Alan P. Linton Emergency Shelter sees 300 people a year, and 23 to 25 families at the Family Emergency Shelter.


Brown says renovation work is also taking place at the Alan P. Linton Shelter and the main building just next door.  Both have seen a lot of wear and tear over the years.


As for the future, Brown says one of the challenges facing the Religious Coalition and other social service non-profit organizations is generational poverty. “We really need to figure out a way to really show these kids there’s another way forward,” he says. In many instances, these young people come from families who have lived in poverty for generations,l and don’t know anything else.


He says this generational poverty  often leads to problems,such as incarceration of family members, and teenage pregnancies, where the young mother drops out of school to care for a baby when she herself has not yet matured. Brown says that means a lot of these young people are unaware of other options to help them break the cycle of poverty. “And that where we as a community need to figure out the best way to show every child, inner city or otherwise, that there are infinite options if they undertake them,” he says.


One solution, Brown says, is a “housing first” policy. “There are no boundaries to housing. We basically find housing, put folks in it and then provide support services once they’re in the housing,” he says. “That’s got a very good success rate of getting some of the very chronically homeless individuals out of shelter and off the streets.”


But he feels the Religious Coalition will be up the challenge.  “There’s only so much that any agency can do, only so much case management or monetary support by an agency can commit,” he says. “So really being prepared to deal with the change in demographics is one of the big challenges,” says Brown.


He also wants to see the Religious Coalition adopt  a strategic plan and a mission statement.



By Kevin McManus