One Mission Cambridge has been helping meet the physical and spiritual needs of men, women, and children in Cambridge one resident at a time since its opening in June 2022. By consolidating some of the area’s food pantries, One Mission Cambridge offers a food pantry store where people can shop for what they need in a dignified manner. In addition, the center offers community navigation with computers onsite for people to research jobs complete job applications, and look up resources to help them connect to community services. By partnering with many of the community’s other churches, nonprofits, businesses, and government, the organization is bringing hope to the city’s most vulnerable populations.
“Food insecurity is much higher than I think most people know in Dorchester County. The good news is we have a lot of people working hard at that. Krista Pettit, Director of One Mission Cambridge, has done a really good job of holding this community coalition together around this issue,” comments Bill Christopher, President/CEO of the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce.
“Working in a coordinated effort, where the government, the nonprofit community, and the business community, come together and work to solve the problem is the answer. None by themselves is going to be able to do so.”
One Mission refers job seekers to the American Job Center, through the Workforce Investment Board at Chesapeake College’s Cambridge Center, which has resources, including computers, available to help job seekers.
Petitt hopes that more churches and businesses will consider partnering with her organization in the future, either through volunteering, providing resources, or partnering on programs and activities that can help Cambridge residents. She comments, “We are so grateful for those who have stepped up and offered their help. In a year, we have been able to accomplish amazing things together for this community, serving 710 different individuals, and supporting 1673 people, including 533 children, 772 adults, and 368 seniors just in the last few months. We could do even more with more of us partnering.”
Mayor Steve Rideout echoes Christopher’s comments, praising Krista on her coalition-building efforts. states, “We need to be focusing more on partnerships and collaboration. You can reach far more if you join together.”
“We have so many people who are above the poverty level receiving government benefits. In Cambridge, 57% of the population meets these criteria compared to 45% in Dorchester County. People are afraid of the government systems, many of whom because the systems don’t work or haven’t worked for them. They don’t trust the systems in place and people just take care of their own families.”
“One Mission Cambridge volunteers and staff are nonjudgmental and are saying, just come. Once people come and realize there are no strings attached, they take what they need and they come back again. That’s what I think will change the culture of those who mistrust government or agencies into a culture where people will be more likely to trust. You can’t have hope if your basic needs aren’t being met – you can’t have a belief that you’re going to get out of where you are,” he adds.
“What I think One Mission Cambridge is accomplishing, by offering and not making demands, is helping people to see that there’s something different out there for them. One Mission Cambridge is a caring, responsive organization that will help them without any strings attached.”
One Mission Cambridge is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, from 1 to 6 p.m. for services. For additional information visit onemissioncambridge.org, Facebook, and Instagram, or call 410-901-3959. For further information about donating to One Mission Cambridge, contact Krista Pettit at 443-521-6825. Donations can be made to One Mission Cambridge, P.O. Box 1495, Cambridge, MD 21613.