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Howard County to move agencies to centralized Community Resources Campus

By July 11, 2018 No Comments

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – The Kittleman Administration continues to make progress on its Community Resources Campus located on Patuxent Woods Drive in Columbia. In two weeks, four human service agencies will move to the campus – the Department of Community Resources and Services (DCRS), Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Office of Human Rights (OHR) and Community Action Council of Howard County.

While these agencies will be closed for the move July 12, 13 and 16, temporary offices will be available with limited services on the first floor of the current location in the Columbia Gateway Building.

“We’re committed to this project because we’ve seen firsthand that it helps residents access critical services,” said Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman. “Rather than spending hours, sometimes days, traveling throughout the county, residents will go to a single location for their needs. Co-locating key agencies will improve the delivery of services and quality of life for our most vulnerable residents.”

After opening the Howard County NonProfit Collaborative in April 2017, human service directors in the county immediately saw the benefits of having multiple agencies together, accessible by public transportation. Currently, 16 nonprofits have offices at the NonProfit Collaborative located at 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive in Columbia.

In March, the state’s Board of Public Works approved a new lease for the Howard County Department of Social Services – a state agency – to move into two buildings on the new campus as well. That move is expected to take place early next year.

“As our county has grown, the number of people needing help has also grown, as well as the complexity of their needs. We believe they will be better served with increased collaboration among local, state and nonprofit service agencies,” said DCRS Director Jackie Scott.

DCRS comprises eight offices that provide direct services to county residents. These offices will be located in 9830 Patuxent Woods Drive, including: ADA Coordination; Aging and Independence; Children and Families; Community Partnerships; Consumer Protection; Human Trafficking Prevention; Local Children’s Board; and Veterans and Military Families.

Along with DCRS, the county’s housing department and Office of Human Rights will be relocated to the campus at 9820 Patuxent Woods Drive. The Community Action Council, which provides Head Start, the county’s Food Bank, energy and housing assistance and other programs, will also have offices in this building.

“Residents generally have multiple needs. Someone in need of affordable housing may also need assistance with food, transportation or child care,” said DHCD Director Kelly Cimino. “We are looking forward to collaborating closely with the other agencies and departments in our new location so we can serve residents more effectively.”

Added OHR Administrator Barbara Sands: “It gives the Office of Human Rights peace of mind knowing the residents who come to our office can access other resources that they need at one location. We welcome this collaborative process of all working together for the common good.”

Nonprofit organizations on campus at the NonProfit Collaborative include: the Association of Community Services of Howard County; Athelas Institute; Bridges to Housing Stability; Camp Attaway; Compass, Inc.; Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center; Greater Baltimore Urban League; Heritage Housing Partners; HopeWorks; Howard County Autism Society; Howard County Housing Commission; Howard EcoWorks; MakingChange; Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center; United Way of Central Maryland; and Volunteers of America Chesapeake.

In addition to relocating county human service agencies, Kittleman requested a review of the Regional Transportation Agency (RTA) bus service to the campus. Two new stops have been added within the campus and a third is expected to be added soon. Kittleman also directed improved pedestrian connectivity to make it easier for clients to walk from one building to another.

For more information and a site map for the Community Resources Campus, go to www.howardcountymd.gov/Branches/Executive-Home/Community-Resources-Campus.