Center plans a larger shelter

Crisis Intervention building expansion should take one year


Howard County's Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and homeless shelter is planning to move to temporary quarters - perhaps by October - as work gets under way on a new $5.5 million facility.

"They will tear down the [current] building the second we're out the door," Director Andrea Ingram said, offering souvenir doorknobs to anyone who wants one.

The center's crisis intervention specialists will relocate to a county-owned house on undeveloped parkland on Vollmerhausen Road, she said, but a temporary home for the center's 32 homeless beds hasn't yet been arranged, though a deal is in the works.

Ingram said she expects it will take one year to tear down the current building and construct a 55-bed facility on the site, located on Freetown Road between Atholton High School and the former Harriet Tubman high school.

The fundraising campaign to pay for the new facility is $260,000 shy of its goal, and more efforts are going forward. One, from campaign co-chair Mary Ann Scully, is an appeal to women to donate $1,000 over three years, or a dollar a day.

Another is a dinner sponsored by several legal associations October 19 in Oakland Mills. It is called "Shoot the Bull. A Different Kind of Bull Roast."

"We're getting very close. We're very excited. It's been a long time coming," said Robert Fleishman, chairman of the Grassroots board.

The two-story, 23,000-square-foot building will be shaped like a "U" around a central courtyard with the entrance facing Atholton High School.

In preparation for the move to temporary, split quarters, Ingram said the center is no longer accepting donations of items that might have to be moved.

"We're trying to downsize and not be collecting anything to move or store," she said.

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