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Executive Kittleman announces Department of Social Services to move to Community Resources Campus

Executive Kittleman announces Department of Social Services to move to Community Resources Campus

March 28, 2018

Media Contacts: 
Deidre McCabe, Director of Strategic Planning and Communications, 410-313-4023
Karen Butler, Director, Howard County Department of Social Services, 410-872-8260

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman’s plan to create a Community Resources Campus (CRC) in Columbia took another important step forward today when the state’s Board of Public Works approved the relocation of the county’s Department of Social Services (DSS) from its current location in Columbia Gateway to the campus.

“This move is critical to the campus because DSS provides vital services to our most vulnerable residents,” Kittleman said. “Having this department located alongside other human services providers – both private and governmental – will make obtaining services more manageable for people needing support.”

Last April, the first phase of the campus became a realty when the county opened the NonProfit Collaborative on Patuxent Woods Drive off Broken Land Parkway. The Collaborative is a central location where 16 non-profit agencies have offices in one shared building. The concept had been talked about for decades and, with the support of the Kittleman Administration, the center opened its doors nearly a year ago. 

Kittleman’s vision for the CRC is to relocate key governmental agencies, including DSS, the county’s departments of Community Resources and Services and Housing and Community Development, the Community Action Council and the Office of Human Rights to a central location accessible by public transportation.

“Getting multiple services, whether food stamps, energy assistance or support for children or vulnerable adults, was often difficult because it meant traveling to offices all over the county. Consolidating services increases collaboration among agencies and makes it easier for our residents to access what they need,” Kittleman said.

Karen Butler, Director of the Howard County Department of Social Services, said the move will allow her staff to better serve residents due to the proximity to other agencies. DSS expects the move, which will impact 146 employees, to take place in early 2019.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to be co-located with our partner agencies. The convenience to our clients and efficiency of service delivery will optimize our ability to meet our client's needs holistically. We are overdue for a location and office environment that more accurately reflect the dignity in which our clients deserve to be served. We truly appreciate the support of Secretary of Human Services Lourdes Padilla and County Executive Kittleman in bringing this project to fruition,” Butler said. 

Since 1994, the county’s DSS has been located in about 38,000 square feet in Columbia Gateway. The new facility in the CRC will provide about 41,000 square feet in two one-story buildings connected by a breezeway. One building will be designated for public access with meeting space, interview rooms and family visitation spaces, while the staff space will be in the second building. The lobby will house a children's play space, convenient payment window for more efficient child support payments and a designated nursing room for waiting mothers. 

DSS provides services including child and adult protective services, medical assistance, employment support and food supplement programs, family preservation, temporary cash, emergency assistance and many others.

The Howard County Community Resources Campus is located at 9770 Patuxent Woods Drive in Columbia. For more information about the campus, go to