Celebrating 50 Years as a Bearer of Hope

Since a 2012 merger between St. Luke's House (founded, 1971) and Threshold Services (founded, 1981), Cornerstone Montgomery’s focus has been to work with people throughout the behavioral health spectrum of acute crisis through long-term support. Today, Cornerstone Montgomery is a CARF-accredited nonprofit organization empowering more than 2,500 adults and transition aged youth in 88 locations throughout Montgomery County, Maryland.  Growing to a $26 million organization, Cornerstone Montgomery has more than 300 staff members, 100 volunteers and 300 partnerships with nonprofits, hospitals, business mentors and educational institutions to become the largest and most comprehensive mental health organization in Montgomery County.

For 50 years, Cornerstone Montgomery has been providing behavioral health services throughout Montgomery County. We started small, offering safe and supportive housing. Over the years, and with the support of our community, we have grown to include therapy and medication, employment services, crisis services and everything in between.

 

Our mission is to “empower people with mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders to live, work and integrate successfully within the community” and our programs help people find and keep housing, train for new jobs, and lead independent lives.

Our History: 

1970s

  • St. Luke’s House (SLH) was founded, becomes first publicly funded group home in Maryland and one of the first in the US

  • Arcola House, Houston Court and University Houses Open

  • Collaborated with Montgomery County Council to develop language for the County’s group home law, establishing a licensing mechanism for group home providers

  • Founding member of the Inter Agency Aftercare Committee for people with mental illness (INTERACC-MI) spearheading the development of a community support system for people with mental illness in MC

 

1980s

  • St. Luke’s House opened the Independent Living Apartment Program. 

  • Threshold Services (TSI) is incorporated to provide housing and assistance for people leaving State psychiatric hospitals.

  • Opened the first free standing Vocational Program for people with mental illness in the State of Maryland - the Back to Work Program.

  • Chadwick House and Parkwood Houses open

  • Opened our first apartments with “drop in” staff support.

  • Opened Renaissance a psychoeducational day program

  • Developed a Curriculum on Residential Rehabilitation with the University of Maryland Medical School, Division of Rehabilitation Psychiatry.

  • Opened the St. Luke’s House Family Support Group Program.

  • Opened 6 townhouses with the support of a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Started Life Skills Program, an adult education style outpatient psychiatric rehabilitation program to operate four to eight week seminars based on consumer needs.

  • Served on the Governor’s Task Force on Community Acceptance of People with Mental Disabilities

  • Opened Montgomery County’s first eight-bed 24 hour crisis residence.

 

1990s

  • Groundbreaking and opening of the Southport Center and three residential cottages and administrative offices.

  • The Back to Work Program participated as a research site for a study of Longitudinal Outcomes in Supported Employment. The research was conducted by Dr. Ellen Fabian at George Washington University.

  • Together with Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce launched a joint project to employ people with disabilities, called The Bethesda Cluster

  • The Career Transition Project was born through partnership of SLH with TransCen and the Transition Unit of Montgomery County Public Schools.

  • Back to Work Program began to participate in a Boston University research project.

  • McAuliffe House completed its participation in a research study “Montgomery County Psychosocial Alternatives to Hospitalization Random Assignment Research” through a grant from the Center for Mental Health Services-Community Support Program.

  • Opened supported living services to all community clients, created geographical based cluster teams to make residential, Back to Work and Life Skills programs more accessible to consumers.

  • Used a grant fromThe Maryland Affordable Housing Trust to support housing and supported living services to 13 individuals living in shelters.

  • St. Luke's House served a record 390 consumers.

  • 25 year anniversary

  • In conjunction with the Springfield Consolidation Project opened Southport Residential.

  • Mental Health Clinic opened to integrate mental health treatment into the cluster model 

  • Began Outreach program

  • Began providing Outpatient Mental Health Center treatment into the cluster model so that the cluster teams can address all of the clients’ community mental health treatment and rehabilitation needs.

  • Fist Employment Focus Cluster begins.

  • Second Employment Focus Cluster began.

  • Outpatient Mental Health Center in Silver Spring opened

  • County Silver Spring Clinic awarded to Threshold Services in collaboration with St. Luke’s House and Suburban Hospital.

 

2000s

  • Germantown Residential Cluster opened

  • Threshold Services began its Supported employment partnership with St. Luke’s House.

  • Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment began for people with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness. Silver Spring OMHC implemented Family Psychoeducation.

  • Pettit House was torn down and completely rebuilt

  • Began using Electronic Health Records

  • Renaissance Day Program and Adrienne House and Chadwick House implemented Illness Management and Recovery.

  • All Threshold Services programs achieved evidence-based co-occurring disorders treatment capability, verified by expert external assessment.

 

2010s

  • St. Luke’s House and Threshold Services merged to become St. Luke’s House and Threshold Services United.

  • St. Luke’s House and Threshold Services United became Cornerstone Montgomery, Inc. Cari Guthrie Cho became President and CEO.

  • Telehealth Implementation in partnership with CareFirst.

  • ACT 1 and ACT 2 started

  • 2 more Crisis Programs were added (Granby House and Layhill House)

  • Achieved Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) status

  • 2 Taft Court Hub opened. Partnership with Interfaith Works and CCI.

  • Knoll Center opened after extensive renovation.

  • Partnership with Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless begins - offering clinical services within county shelters

  • Partnership with MCPS and Montgomery College linking Transition Aged Youth Clients to Disability Services

  • CARF accreditation achieved

  • Secured national Continuing Education Unit accreditation for Social Workers and Licensed Counselors

 

2020s

  • Youth In Transition program acquired

  • Improved access to behavioral health services through expanded telemedicine

  • Celebrating 50 years as a leader in behavioral health services and adding to our cutting-edge programs, including renovating the Southport Hub to serve at least 100 more clients each year

  • CARF Re-certification achieved

 

Awards and Honors Include:

  • Above and Beyond Award by the National Guard and Reserve Forces for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

  • 2018 Workforce Professional of the Year and Employee of the Year by the Maryland Works for Employment for People with Disabilities

  • The Rockville Chamber of Commerce 2019 Nonprofit of the Year

Celebrate Cornerstone Montgomery’s 50th Anniversary and join us as a Bearer of Hope

Create Your Legacy