City of Laurel Multiservice Center

Rendering of the Outside of the Laurel Multiservice Center

Background 

Purchased in 2020 for $2.4 million, 204 Ft. Meade Road was acquired with the purpose of developing a Multiservice Center, where residents of the Greater Laurel area could obtain a variety of human services, as well as utilize short-term housing during times of transition. Maintained by the Department of Parks & Recreation, this facility is owned by the City of Laurel, but seeks to coordinate with various agencies in and surrounding Laurel to establish and sustain daily operations. Services to be provided at the Laurel Multiservice Center (LMSC) were selected based on the recommendations of the City of Laurel Homelessness and Community Task Force, which was formed in 2019. By establishing a location where these services can be streamlined, it is our mission to provide equitable service, increased opportunity, and enhanced hope for the future through the establishment of individual independency.

Task Force 

The City of Laurel Homelessness and Community Services Task Force set out on a mission to enhance wellness and reduce homelessness within the Greater Laurel area through the streamlined provision of human services, limiting transportation barriers and resource access, strengthening the economic and social stability of the community. The Task Force conducted a capability analysis to identify resource gaps, outlining services to be provided at the LMSC, as well as completed a feasibility study to determine infrastructure needed to support such activities. Based on recommendations provided by the Task Force following a feasibility study in 2015, the following list of needed services were identified and shall be provided to the community at the LMSC:

  • Individual men, women, and family short-term housing units
  • Overnight sheltering
  • Catering/prepared meal service kitchen and delivery window
  • Postal boxes/package delivery area
  • Barber/hair salon
  • Food pantry storage/distribution
  • Learning center/job training
  • Medical suite with space for physician and nursing staff
  • Clothing distribution center
  • Laundry room
  • Showering facilities

Project Overview 

The faciity is undergoing renovations, which are being completed in phases. The first phase of construction includes the conversion of the existing gymnasium, two multipurpose rooms, and multiple storage rooms for equipment and emergency supplies. The entire roof of the building will be replaced under this phase, as well as installation of a new HVAC and sprinkler system. The second phase of construction will focus on the resource center and short-term housing sections. The building will be modified to accommodate all proposed services of the LMSC. Both phases of construction are ongoing. 

Mission Statement 

To promote stability and self-sufficiency amongst vulnerable populations through the provision of human services. Such efforts aim to promote hope for the future, equity of service, and strengthening of community throughout the Greater City of Laurel area.

Vision

Enhance wellness and reduce homelessness through the provision of resources and the promotion of independent living.


Goals

  • Be part of the solution of homelessness in the Greater Laurel area;
  • Provide support services for individuals experiencing homelessness or near homelessness;
  • Maintain ongoing partnerships with other local service organizations and religious affiliates in offering resources to the community;
  • Provide emergency sheltering and daytime respite;
  • Provide onsite medical and mental health evaluation and treatment, including one-on-one case management and counseling services;
  • Be part of the solution to address food insecurity in the Greater Laurel area;
  • Assist in the transition of temporary sheltering to long-term housing.

Who We Serve

The LMSC aims to serve vulnerable populations impacted by homelessness, near homelessness, or lack of accessibility to resources needed to promote wellness and sustain life. Due to the Multiservice Center’s unique location in Laurel, the Center seeks to serve vulnerable communities in three counties: Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, and Howard. Easily accessible using public transportation, the Center is optimally located to provide the greatest amount of access to a variety of communities.

Within the Greater Laurel area, 19 shelters exist throughout Anne Arundel, Howard, and Prince George’s Counties (Homeless Shelter Directory, 2022). Unfortunately, many homeless individuals remain unserved by these services, whether due to a lack of accessibility, limited availability, or other service barriers. While these 19 shelters provide necessary resources for the community, the establishment of a multiservice center will not only aim to house individuals temporarily, but provide resources to establish independence, decreasing community need. In addition, the LMSC would have the capacity to provide resources not only to the homeless, but to the near homeless, to prevent potential homelessness from occurring. The LMSC will aim to meet the unique needs of individuals, no matter how big or how small, to strengthen accessibility to resources, whether single use or continued provision.