By Becca Heller | Maryland Reporter
Religious-affiliated charities in Maryland drew in more than $70 million in funding from the state last year — which may come as a surprise since stark lines are often drawn between church and state.
Some of Maryland’s largest church-based charities receive the bulk of their funding from the state, according to charity leaders and the Department of Budget and Management’s spending database. Through a symbiotic relationship, the churches and state provide social and health services to those in need. A large portion of the funds come through Medicaid for health care costs.
Religious-affiliated charities are able to work directly with the people in Maryland in a way that the state cannot, and because of this the government relies on these organizations to maintain the welfare of its constituents.
“Local services do end up providing the bulk of care right now,” said Courtney Malengo, public relations director for National Lutheran Communities & Services. “There’s going to come a time where the government can’t possibly provide the care people need and it falls upon social service groups to do that.”