Main Street is 3 Things

Located in Rockville, Maryland, Main Street is a nonprofit that models inclusive practices, bringing together people with and without disabilities.  We are three things – affordable housing, a membership-based community and a movement of inclusion.

Main Street building

A 70-unit affordable apartment building in which 75% of the units are affordable and 25% are set aside for adults with special needs. At the front of the building, the beautiful Soulfull Cafe provides employment to people of all abilities and a beautiful gathering space for all.

Main Street Staff and Members at The Soulfull Cafe

A membership-based community center offering 12-15 weekly programs– everything from baking classes and yoga sessions to art workshops and professional lunch and learns. These programs are for residents and non-residents who join as members.

Jillian Copeland shares her vision for Main Street

A movement of inclusion in Maryland and beyond. We educate and advocate for communities for everyone – where people of all abilities find a sense of belonging. Main Street is changing lives and changing minds through inclusion.

We approach our work with a philosophy of inclusion that we call “Bring Your Own Independence” (BYOI).

The Details

​Main Street Connect, Inc. (Main Street), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, has developed a innovative, multi-purpose model – an affordable, accessible and inclusive apartment complex and community center just steps from a subway stop and adjacent to the town center in Rockville, Maryland. The building opened doors in August 2020.


Seventy-five percent (75%) of the 70 apartments in the building are affordable – serving households earning 30%, 50% and 60% of the Area Medium Income (AMI) – and 25% of the units are specifically designated for individuals with varying special needs. Details about the apartments and the application process are available from Main Street’s property management company, Edgewood Management, at

Community Center and Membership

The ground floor of the Main Street building has a 10,000-square-foot community center that includes a fitness center, teaching kitchen, multimedia room and a classroom. Together with professional partners, Main Street offers a robust calendar of daily, weekly and monthly classes, programs, events and community engagement opportunities. Main Street’s community center and programming are open to residents and to non-residents who join as members. In addition, Soulfull Cafe, a coffee shop and partnership with Main Street Connect, is located at the front of the Main Street building and open to the public. Soulfull Cafe opened in September 2020, providing an opportunity for employment to people with and without disabilities.

Bring Your Own Independence (BYOI)

Bring Your Own IndependenceMain Street is not a service provider and does not provide care giving or support staff to meet individualized, customized, one-on-one needs. Main Street’s approach is based on a philosophy of inclusion that we call “Bring Your Own Independence” or BYOI. Residents and members are encouraged to bring with them whatever and whomever they need to help them fully access and enjoy the benefits of living at Main Street and/or being a member of the community center.

By breaking the link between housing and services, Main Street residents have choice regarding their service providers and are not required to move if they wish to change service providers. Main Street residents have the option to hire a Main Street Community Coach , life coaches who provide limited types of assistance.

Main Street’s community center is not a DDA day center or a drop off facility and is not responsible for residents and members when they are on Main Street premises or attending events. Main Street’s staff are caring individuals who are trained to provide quality programming for people of all abilities.

Learn more about the BYOI approach and what Main Street does and does not offer here.

Founding Principles

Main Street – created on the founding principles of affordability, inclusivity and sustainability – is a vibrant community for continued learning, social engagement and health and wellness. By fostering a culture of inclusion, Main Street bridges abilities, age and socioeconomic factors, allowing residents and members to enjoy casual, organic social encounters as well as structured activities and programs provided by trained staff and community partners.

Mission, Vision, Values and Approach

Our Mission
To create dynamic opportunities through affordable, inclusive housing and community engagement so people of all abilities can live their best lives.

Our Vision
A world where people of all abilities thrive together – are included, feel connected, and have abundant choices and opportunities.

Our Values
Integrity, Dignity, Collaboration, Reliability, Excellence, Boldness

Our Approach
Bring Your Own Independence (BYOI) – We don’t provide 1:1 services. We do provide accessibility and choice. Learn more.