Melwood Fast Facts

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Melwood Fast Facts
Mission: Melwood advocates for and empowers individuals with differing abilities to transform their own lives through unique opportunities to work and play in the community.
Vision: A world where people with differing abilities are fully included.
Core Services: We provide employment, training, life skills improvement, supportive and recreational services.
Melwood is a 501(c)(3) doing $92 million in business per year. Headquartered in Upper Marlboro, MD, with facilities in Waldorf, Temple Hills and Nanjemoy. Melwood is one of the largest nonprofit agencies of the nearly 600 U.S. Ability One Program affiliated agencies nationwide. Our clients and business partners are located across the United States.
Melwood provides jobs, career training, life skills improvements, community supports and recreational services for over 2,000 people each year. 94% of people served live in the greater DC metro area; most in Prince George’s and Charles Counties, MD. Melwood also services military bases and federal agencies in the region, including Fort George G. Meade, U.S. Naval Academy, Goddard Space Flight Center, USDA, HUD and The Kennedy Center.
Melwood employs 1,606 people, including more than 803 people with differing abilities, who work at one of our 43 contract sites (37 federal) or at one of our campuses.
Melwood’s Business Lines:

  • Total Facilities Management
  • Janitorial/Custodial Services
  • Landscaping, Grounds Keepings and Horticulture
  • E-solutions; recycling, electronics recycling, cleaning supplies
  • Customized job training
  • Community Support Services
  • Recreational Services
  • Call Center Services
Melwood’s Economic Impact:
  • $43 million paid in salaries
  • $7 million in payroll taxes
  • $29 million spent with all vendors (50% with regional vendors)
  • $4.8 million in federal wages
  • $2.5 million in state taxes
Melwood’s workers with differing abilities worked 1.2 million hours and earned $16.7 million in wages.
Melwood’s newest programs include:
  • Operation: Tohidu, therapeutic retreats for veterans with PTS(d)
  • e-Recycling services offering training and transferrable technical skills to more than 16 people with differing abilities
  • Renewal energy conversion using solar energy generation and LED lighting
Disabilities vs Differing Abilities:
In 2013, Melwood adopted a corporate philosophy that called for the organization to formally remove the prefix “dis” from the term disability. Members of our senior leadership team felt that the term “disability,” defined as a limitation in the ability to pursue an occupation because of a physical or mental impairment, a disqualification, restriction or disadvantage and a lack of legal qualification to do something, was an inadequate or limiting “label” for a cross section of people. After much consideration we now refer to all of the people we serve as persons with “differing abilities,” which is a much more accurate portrayal of their capabilities.
We recognize the specific challenges that a person diagnosed with a physical, developmental, neurological, sensory, mental health and any other impairment may face. Melwood was established to provide support as needed, and our decision to change the terminology we use in no way changes the care we offer for  people with differing abilities. Melwood will continue to strive each day to develop innovative programming that will enhance the quality of life for the people we serve.
We recognize that every person within our organization, whether they are a program director or participant, shares the desire to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our decision to use the term “differing abilities” was a natural evolution of the principles on which we were founded: a vision of inclusion for ALL people. In support of our mission and core values we will continue to cultivate the skills the people we serve have attained and empower them to pursue their career and personal goals, recognizing that we all have extraordinary abilities.

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