Howard multiservice center moves to larger, newer quarters in North Laurel

10 agencies located on U.S. 1

September 23, 2010|By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun

Howard County officials formally opened larger offices in a new location Wednesday for their only multiservice center, designed to make 10 social service agencies available to people who live along the U.S. 1 corridor in North Laurel.

Bita Dayhoff, director of the county's nonprofit Community Action Agency that runs the center, said space went from 1,200 square feet in the nearby former offices in an older strip shopping center to 3,200 square feet in new space in the Patuxent Square mixed-use complex, which opened two years ago but which has struggled to fill storefronts under 80 apartments priced for moderate-income renters.

Dayhoff said the new space allows each agency a separate small office, plus a room for potential growth and a small kitchen and a children's playroom filled with toys and artwork donated by Susan Rosenbaum and her husand, Gary. Susan Rosenbaum is the retired former director of the county's Citizens Services agency who led the effort to create the office. The couple attended the formal opening.

Dayhoff said the number of people seeking help has doubled since the new office originally opened in July. It offers everything from Legal Aid to Howard Community College registrations, and includes agencies for domestic violence, help for immigrants, dietary supplements for pregnant women, social services, homelessness and crisis prevention assistance, and job search help. Next door is a private walk-in medical clinic.

"This is really an example of the evolution of the Route 1 corridor," county executive Ken Ulman told a crowd of over 100 people, after joking about the building being located next to Fat Daddy's saloon, a business that has been on U.S. 1 for decades.

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