About Us

The Gilchrist Center is a gateway for Montgomery County's immigrants.  Our center provides information and referrals to programs and services offered by government agencies and community organizations. Our aim is to: 

  • strengthen immigrant communities' life skills through English and basic computer classes, and
  • increase their knowledge to prepare for civic life and/or U.S. citizenship.

The Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center is a community where residents can contribute their talents to help others. It is a testament to Montgomery County’s commitment to building one of the world’s most welcoming communities.

The Center is part of Montgomery County's Office of Community Partnerships (OCP). We work together with the County's Community Liaisons to the Latino, African, Caribbean, and Asian communities. Modeled after Welcoming America's national welcoming framework, we have created a Welcoming Framework for Montgomery County, MD.

Gilchrist center staff group photo


We are Montgomery County’s resource center for immigrants. We strengthen the County by connecting our diverse communities with educational, economic, and civic resources so all may thrive here.


On September 8, 2001, just days before the tragic events of 9/11, Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan opened the Charles W. Gilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity in Wheaton, Maryland to serve Montgomery County’s growing immigrant population. In 2016, we changed our name to the Charles W. Gilchrist Immigrant Resource Center, to better reflect the programs and services we offer to immigrant communities. The Gilchrist Center is the main gateway to success for thousands of immigrants who come to Montgomery County with limited financial resources.

The free classes are the first step to learning English for many who could not otherwise afford to pay for private lessons. Computer classes allow some of our neighbors in need to get promotions at work that allow them to house and feed their families. Classes at the Gilchrist Center start many on the path to citizenship. The Center’s information and referral staff connect our new neighbors with the services they need to thrive.