About Us

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Who we are

BoardMembersWe’re the family and members of a Howard County, Maryland book club that read a disturbing account and decided to do something about it. In 2001′s “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” author Barbara Ehrenreich went undercover and put herself in the shoes of millions of Americans who work full time at low-wage or poverty-level jobs, including some first-timers seeking employment because of welfare-to-work reform programs in the 1990s. Ehrenreich traveled, chronicling her experiences working as a hotel maid, waitress, nursing-home aid, house cleaner and retail salesperson while living in the least expensive lodgings she could find.

Even in Howard County, Maryland

The lack of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment for people trying to climb out of poverty. The author, despite her middle-class background, education and coping skills found those occupations physically and mentally draining. Often those jobs had to be supplemented with second jobs just to make ends meet. She found herself living from day to day. Ehrenreich couldn’t earn and save enough money for a security deposit. She frequently had to move into hotels and pay weekly and monthly rates – typically more expensive than what she’d have to pay if she could get a six-month or year’s lease for an apartment.

What We Do

Our book club decided to act locally on a global problem. We formed the One Month’s Rent Initiative. We’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars and helped dozens of Howard County families. You can read about them on our “Families Helped” page. All donations go directly to the Community Action Council of Howard County (CACHC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

All donations go to those who need it.

All operating expenses are contributed by OMR board members.
One hundred percent of your donation goes directly to help families in need.