A Brief History


In 1990, Kathleen Guinan was already a nonprofit entrepreneur. Having founded Zaccheaus Kitchen and Rachel’s Women’s Center, she and her husband, Ed Guinan, were well-known community organizers and social justice activists.

After renovating a formerly abandoned elementary school, Crossway Community opened as a wrap-around center, integrating an innovative adult education initiative, a Montessori-inspired early childhood program, and a community center where volunteerism and creative activities would bring people together across culture and age. 

For its first two decades, Crossway Community developed The Family Leadership Academy (FLA), an intensive residential intervention for women to gain the tools to succeed in college, the workplace and beyond. Linking secure, community-supported housing with adult education, case management, strength-based resources, and Montessori early childhood education, this award-winning program offered a two-generation strategy to prevent poverty and helping families thrive. 

The FLA was Crossway Community's first major innovation. Elements of that program-- supportive housing, information and referral, strength-based, family-centered, Montessori inspired community -- remain the touchstone of all Crossway Community programming. 

All families -- whether living in The Apartments, enrolled in Crossway Community Montessori School, or volunteering in the Intergenerational Learning Center--  are part of a vibrant community. Families and community groups throughout Montgomery County and greater Washington have continued to thrive at Crossway Community for over two decades. 

Crossway Community is.... Intentional.  Inspirational.

For a parent who feels cast aside, a discouraged child, or a lonely senior citizen, the scent of lavender and the soothing colors on the wall offer one message:

You are home. You matter here.

At Crossway Community,  The Apartments offer a safe, supported home and community while parents complete degrees or work. Crossway Community Montessori School nurtures hundreds of children, of all incomes in a prepared environment. The Intergenerational Learning Center is a hub for career, life skills, vocational, and service learning initiatives, training, and partner programs. The National Center for Montessori And Aging is on its way to breaking critical new ground.

For its excellence, Crossway Community has been recognized by:

  • National Bridge Builders Award
  • The African American Infant Mortality Coalition 
  • The Aspen Institute 
  • The Migrant Heritage Commission
  • Kathleen Guinan, “Hometown Hero” by WETA