Main Street Connect Inc

Inclusivity Redefined

aka Main Street Connect, Main Street   |   Rockville, MD   |  http://www.mainstreetconnect.org

Mission

Main Street's mission is to create dynamic opportunities through affordable, inclusive housing and community engagement so people of all abilities can live their best lives.

Notes from the nonprofit

Served nearly 2,000 members with and without disabilities since May 2017 Opened apartment building and community center July 2020 in the midst of the pandemic Engaged 1,400 virtual participants at opening Had 11,000 calls the day the lines opened for peopel to apply for an apartment Leased 100% of apartments Engaged 315 community volunteers Established collaborative relationships with 100 community organizations/providers Launched Quality of Life research with University of Maryland Spring 2020 Developed a Membership Model Evaluation plan Pivoted to all virtual programming in July 2020 due to Covid 19 providing 22 weekly programs

Ruling year info

2017

Founder and President

Mrs. Jillian Copeland

Main address

50 Monroe Pl

Rockville, MD 20850 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-5280080

NTEE code info

Independent Housing for People with Disabilities (L24)

Citizen Participation (W24)

Health Support Services (E60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

During the past few decades, many changes have occurred for individuals with disabilities. Historically, many adults with disabilities lived in large institutional settings with minimal opportunities to socialize. Others lived with parents or in group homes. Although progress has been made, adults with disabilities continue to be woefully underserved upon reaching the "cliff” at age 21. They lose all entitlements to education, do not have access to affordable housing, most are unemployed or underemployed and many lack any type of meaningful social and community anchors. This confluence of devastating factors leads to community isolation and a life devoid of passion, meaning, choice and independence. Main Street has not only confirmed these distressing outcomes but has learned that more than anything, most adults with disabilities want to be connected to community, want to live independently and want to work--they just need the opportunity, the skills and encouragement to do so.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Main Street Connect

Main Street is the first community-oriented, affordable, accessible housing solution to redefine the concept of inclusion in a large, vibrant community space within the apartment complex itself.

Just steps away from the Metro and Rockville Town Center, Main Street's thoughtful and purposeful member-based programming breaks down barriers to improve quality of life and community-building for everyone, no matter their age, location, ability or background.

This inclusive mindset and culture of hope and opportunity is aimed to flourish beyond Main Street's walls and inspire a new generation - without barriers, without judgment and with genuine inclusion for all.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Awards

Nonprofit of the Year 2021

Rockville Chamber of Commerce

Affiliations & memberships

Catalog for Philanthropy 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people on the organization's email list

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Adults, Low-income people, Unemployed people, Caregivers

Related Program

Main Street Connect

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

At the end of 2020, our email communications were going to about 2820 people. We cleaned up the list in Sept. 2021, removing inactive people. So the numbers went down, the engagement went up.

Number of individual members since inception

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Low-income people, Unemployed people, Adults, Caregivers

Related Program

Main Street Connect

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

As stated above, our membership model has changed since inception, and we have continued to garner measurable growth even with a different model and levels.

Number of families who joined as members since inception

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Adults, Caregivers, Low-income people, Unemployed people

Related Program

Main Street Connect

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

We had 597 families as members from 2017-2020, and at that point we changed our membership model and do not track families but types of membership, i.e. core activity member, plus activity membership.

Number of Professional Members since inception

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Related Program

Main Street Connect

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We launched with an individual, family and memberships. In 2020, we paused our professional membership, which had 80 members, and then re-launched in Fall 2021. This membership is steadily growing.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Adults, Economically disadvantaged people, Unemployed people

Related Program

Main Street Connect

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Covid has impacted the amount of volunteers we can have, and we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to offer more in person opportunities as this year progresses.

Number of people in the area with access to affordable housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Unemployed people, People with disabilities, Adults, Caregivers

Related Program

Main Street Connect

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The Main Street apartment building opened in July of 2020 so we did not have residents prior to that date. We had a community membership since inception.

Number of clients participating in educational programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Economically disadvantaged people, Caregivers, Families, Unemployed people

Related Program

Main Street Connect

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 1/22 we had 185 activity & 36 professional members. Professional membership is tiered; one membership includes 1-10 members. Our membership model changed in 2021 so 2019 numbers aren't applicable.

Number of clients who self-report increased skills/knowledge after educational program/intervention

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, People with disabilities, Low-income people, Unemployed people, Adults

Related Program

Main Street Connect

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

In 2021, we surveyed 62 members, which equates to 79%. In 2021, 95% said they learned new things! In 2020, 62 members were surveyed or 82%. We did not begin our evaluation in 2019.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Main Street aims to become the leading voice for what inclusion can look like in a greater community and to make inclusion the norm. We are more than just a building. We are a movement of passionate, dedicated individuals united in community and inclusion for all that extends far beyond Main Street's walls. We aim to change the daunting, grim future for adults with disabilities and dispel the stereotypes people WITHOUT disabilities hold for people WITH disabilities. Our thoughtful programming reflects our community's interests, beliefs and value systems, creating a community that thinks differently and leads where others don't.

In 3-5 years Main Street expects to have demonstrated the effectiveness and feasibility of its model, its positive impact on member life satisfaction, and be able to point to a community that embraces inclusivity as a norm. Additionally, Main Street anticipates having a proven turnkey prototype that can be replicated and scaled, and a model for other entities around the country. We are committed to supporting the growth of our concept and we have already engaged in numerous conversations with organizations around the country interested in replication.

A number of key factors shape Main Street’s confidence that it can achieve its goals--the need for this model is dire, the demand/interest in Main Street in the disability community is strong, public and private community backing is growing. However, only with increased funding support, can Main Street be successful.

A dearth of housing choices leave many adults with disabilities living with aging parents, where they often struggle socially, financially and emotionally. The housing alternatives that presently exist are generally unaffordable, inaccessible, lack meaningful inclusion with people who are typically developing and often result in isolation and limited opportunities for employment and recreation. Moreover, options for inclusive and affordable housing are slim.

The Main Street model marries affordable and inclusive housing, which alone sets us apart from most options existing today. The true differentiator is our membership -model, community center that offers numerous opportunities for engagement by all residents and members of the community-at-large. Such a model does not currently exist. Furthermore, the deep and active engagement of our members demonstrates how successful this model can be long term. To date, more than 1,700 people in our community have already joined Main Street as members.

What sets Main Street miles apart is not only our innovative concept but how our philosophy is being operationalized. For the past four years, Main Street has been changing the landscape for how people FEEL when they engage in our bi-weekly events (and in the future, all programming). Main Street is unique in its unwavering focus on inclusion, on changing mindsets and attitudes, and, on providing options where individuals of all abilities choose to be and with whom. Main Street strives to eradicate the “us versus them” mentality from today’s collective reality, aiming to inspire a new generation — through community building, education, inclusive living opportunities, events and experiences. Time and time again, participants have shared “how good they feel'', “how being a part of the Main Street family gives them hope”, “how everyone can benefit from being included”.

Main Street is a mixed-income, mixed-use development that fosters organic and inclusive opportunities for individuals with varying special needs to live, learn, work, play and thrive. This flagship building includes 70 dwelling units, approximately 10,000 square feet of purposefully designed community space and a coffee shop. Seventy-five percent (75%) of the dwelling units are affordable – serving households earning 30%, 50% and 60% of the Area Medium Income (AMI) – and 17 units are specifically designed and designated for individuals with varying special needs.

The community space includes a wellness and fitness center, commercial grade teaching kitchen, multimedia room, classrooms and a cyber-café that employs people with disabilities. All of this is available to the building residents as well as Main Street’s members with and without disabilities.

Main Street - created on the founding principles of affordability, inclusivity and sustainability - is a vibrant community for continued learning, social engagement, health and wellness, community building and overall joy and happiness for the building resident and members. Fostering a culture of inclusion, Main Street bridges abilities, age and socio-economic factors, allowing participants to enjoy casual, organic social encounters as well as structured activities, classes and therapeutic programs provided by Main Street staff and our seasoned service providing partners.

Main Street, however, is much more than a physical building – our culture of inclusion has expanded into a movement of inclusion! A movement to educate all stakeholders – government agencies, private enterprises, educational institutions, our next-door neighbors – that all individuals – regardless of ability have much to contribute to our world! A movement to provide safe, affordable, accessible and inclusive housing! A movement to give everyone equitable opportunities to belong – to participate – to THRIVE!

Created on the founding principles of affordability, inclusivity and sustainability, Main Street is a vibrant community for continued learning, social engagement, health and wellness and community building. By fostering a culture of inclusion, Main Street bridges abilities, age and socio-economic factors, allowing residents and members from diverse backgrounds to enjoy casual, organic social encounters as well as structured activities and therapeutic programs provided by trained staff and community partners. Main Street offers its members (residents and those living in the larger community) a robust menu of virtual and in person, daily, weekly, and monthly classes, programs, events, and community engagement opportunities. Main Street programs have grown from the original two monthly programs to currently hosting an average of 90 monthly programs (20-22 weekly programs). Additionally, Main Street sponsors events to educate, raise awareness and advocate for people with disabilities. A full calendar of events can be found on https://mainstreetconnect.org/events/

In it's inaugural year, Main Street worked with the University of Maryland on a mixed methods research study to understand the efficacy of this model and prove that Main Street will improve the quality of life for it's residents both with and without disabilities and family members of residents with disabilities.

The findings from surveys were supported by what researchers heard during interviews. Residents and family members expressed overall satisfaction with the residential experience at Main Street. Themes that emerged included pride, autonomy, inclusion and increased engagement. The results can be found on the website: https://mainstreetconnect.org/main-street-umd-research-partnership/.

During the pandemic MS offered all of its programs virtually and will continue to offer some virtually and some on a hybrid basis as needed, into the future.
Main Street collaborates, shares resources, makes connections and co-sponsors opportunities for its members and is partnering with numerous local agencies, organizations and professionals in providing direct and varied experiences.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We are all seeking a place to belong – a community offering friendship, purpose and hope. Main Street was created to address the void in opportunities for adults with disabilities and their peers to come together in a supportive, accepting environment. We offer opportunities for inclusive community engagement, empowering people of all abilities to lead to happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. The ground floor of the Main Street building has a 10,000-square-foot community center that includes a fitness center, teaching kitchen, multimedia room and a classroom. Together with professional partners, Main Street offers a robust calendar of programs, events and community engagement opportunities. Most programs are available to members only, however some events are open to the community.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Main Street surveys its members each Fall, soliciting direct feedback regarding how they feel about programming (event topics and schedule), communications, and the impact their membership has on their life. Our 2021 Member Experience Survey showed a that while people find their memberships to be valuable and meaningful, many are looking for more programs on evenings and weekends. It was also suggested that expanding our schedule would attract a more diverse audience. This winter we initiated a plan to hire and train new staff to help facilitate more programs in the evenings and on weekends. As of February 2022, we will have doubled the number of programs available outside of normal business hours.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We work hard to implement a multitude of evaluation experiences to track and measure our effectiveness and communication with our members. We consistently offer verbal, written and digital opportunities for members to contribute their insights, feedback, suggestions and ideas. As such, we have created and cultivated a community where our members feel empowered to speak up and make their voices heard, they see it represented in our responses. For example, we often receive suggestions and in turn, we create collaborative opportunities members and staff to create new programs. Some of them have made it into our programming! By engaging with our members in this way, they know we are listening and acting on their suggestions to create a more meaningful membership experience for them.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Main Street Connect Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Main Street Connect Inc

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mrs. Jillian Copeland

Main Street Connect

Term: 2017 -

Robert Granader

Market Research

Lisa Friedlander

NEXT/Shulman Rogers

Karen Beveridge

Special Needs Advocate

David Astrove

Attorney, Real Estate

Andrew Friedlander

Associated Insurance Management (AIM)

Donte Brown

Founder, Donte's Boxing and Wellness Foundation

Jeni Stepanek

Founder, Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/25/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability