Shelter Services

Family Shelter Program

Grassroots operates the only general emergency shelter in Howard County at 6700 Freetown Road in Columbia, MD.  The program has 33 beds for families and single adult women experiencing a shelter crisis.


Children's Activity at the Family Shelter at Grassroots

All clients are accepted into the emergency shelter program on a provisional basis for a period of no more than three months. Each resident is assigned a case manager who works with them to develop a case plan designed to address their particular needs and challenges. Prior to the end of their 3-month stay, residents may apply for a 3-month extension, for a maximum stay of six months. An additional extension is granted only under extenuating circumstances such as medical necessity.

Extensions of stay dependent on the resident’s progress achieving the goals in their housing plan (such as getting a job, saving money, attending addictions treatment, applying for benefits for which they may be eligible, meeting regularly with their case manager, etc.), their ability to function cooperatively in the group living setting, and their adherence to basic shelter guidelines.

Housing alone does not resolve the cycle of homelessness for the majority of our residents. Staff also provide supportive counseling; assistance in seeking jobs and apartments; help with budgeting and parenting skills; and referral for mental health services, social services, or addictions treatment. Transportation and limited financial assistance are also available.

Motel Shelter

As a back-up to Emergency Shelter, Grassroots has a capacity to house up to three families for up to fifteen days in motel when the shelter is full and there are no immediate alternatives. Staff work intensively with these families to help them find more permanent arrangements including other shelter, their own apartment, or relocating to be with family members or friends.


Randy Sands Men’s Shelter

Men's Shelter Client getting ready for work.

The  Randy Sands Men’s Shelter can serve up to 18 single adult men. The program serves about 55 – 75 men per year. Each resident has a primary counselor or case manager and an individualized housing plan which could include employment, a savings plan, addictions treatment, psychiatric treatment, training or GED, and debt management. All of the support services available to families are also provided to our male residents. The structure of the residents’ length of stay applies to the men’s shelter as well.


Cold Weather Shelter

Mother And BabyThe cold weather shelter is a partnership with the faith community and Howard County government which provides overflow shelter from November through March. Congregations host the shelter for one or two weeks and provide volunteers for transportation, meals, laundry and to work shifts in the shelter. Grassroots provides administrative coordination and a staff person to act as the team leader during the hours that the shelter is open. For more information on how your congregation can participate in the Cold Weather Shelter program, please contact Kathy Piet, the CWS Manager, For emergency shelter needs, please contact the crisis hotline at 410-531-6677.


Day Resource Center at the Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center

Grassroots Day Resource Center, a successful partnership with the faith community, is located at 10390 Guilford Road, Suite A (first floor), in Jessup and is open 3 days a week. The Center provides meals, showers, limited laundry, fellowship and social services to homeless individuals in the Howard County Route 1 corridor. For more information, visit the Day Center’s web site or call the business line at 301-776-9900.

Hours of Operation (general)
Mondays, 2 to 6 p.m.
Wednesdays, 2 to 6 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m

COVID -19 Hours of Operation
Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m

Follow the Grassroots Day Resource Center on Facebook here.