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The Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center

Jessup, MD

building stronger communities

The first of its kind in Howard County, the Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center provides a place for people to have a hot meal, take a shower, do laundry, and receive donated necessities from the pantry. The idea for the resource center grew from the county’s 2010 plan to end homelessness, which outlined goals to tackle situational homelessness that occurs when stable individuals and families cannot afford housing due to job loss, injury, or other disasters.

 

Client
Volunteers of America Chesapeake
Architect
Wiencek & Associates
Scope
35 units
30,212 gsf
Wood Frame

The three-story center is named after NAACP leader and civil rights activist Leola Dorsey. The first-floor day resource center is operated by Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center. It is open three days a week for four hours a day, serving an average of 100 to 120 people per day. The second and third levels of the building includes 35 single-room occupancy units. These units are aimed at utilizing the “housing first” approach, based on the concept that, when an individual has stable housing, they are able to focus more energy on other tasks such as finding employment.

This building replaces the Day Resource Center, which served an average of 80 people per day. The new center not only serves more people but has the capacity to serve at least half of the county’s homeless population.

It is a beautiful building that everyone should be proud of. What a difference it has made in the end-user’s lives.

Cynthia Newman-Lynch

Chief, Development Finance and Project Management
Howard County Housing Commission
Awards & Certifications

USGBC
LEED – Silver

let's build something exceptional.