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Columbia Inspired

The MultiService Center

Nov 28, 2021 05:47PM ● By Anika Mills

Howard County is known for its beautiful neighborhoods and wonderful educational system, but often times the information about the resources available in our community stay hidden.  This is one of the reasons that Columbia Inspired Magazine was created.  After living here for years, there were many programs and resources I was completely unaware of. With that said, do you know about the Howard County Government’s MultiService Center? I am betting that you do not, so you’re welcome in advance, friends.

The mission of the MultiService Center is simple: to enrich the lives of Howard County residents. “We do this by offering access to human services and provide support that helps our clients to become self-sufficient,” says Manager Valerie Mathis.  The center serves residents in Laurel, Savage, and Jessup, however any Howard County resident can access the MultiService Center resources.


Mathis has been the manager of the MultiService Center for the last four years. A retired police officer, she has a passion to serve; so when her mentor, Quinton Askew, was promoted and Mathis was asked to apply, she jumped at the opportunity and the rest is history.

“In our center we have over seventeen county and nonprofit partners who assist clients with many resources,” shares Mathis.  Partnerships with resources like MD Legal Aid and Veterans Affairs allows the center to help provide additional resources.

The center provides BGE Assistance, Medical Assistance, Financial Coaching, Legal Assistance and much, much, more. The MultiService Center also hosts events to support the families in the community. A few examples are winter coat, Thanksgiving basket, and school supply give-aways. They also provide support for clients during the holidays.  

 The pandemic really challenged the MultiService Center’s ability to serve its clients. Many needed hands on assistance with filling out applications, faxing documents and gaining access to computers. Much like the rest of the world, the center made a way.  Zoom meetings, virtual trainings, telephone calls and conference calls were essential to being able to still serve the community.  A positive change during this time was the ability to open the No Contact MultiService Center Food Pantry.  This was a saving grace for many of the families in the community.  “We have partnered with the Maryland Food Bank and receive many community donations. This partnership has helped us implement another layer to our emergency backup plan,” says Mathis

Mathis would like for the community to know that the MultiService Center is a friendly center and is here to serve you. Though it is a walk-in center, but you can also make appointments. Please help spread the word to your family, friends, and neighbors about all of the wonderful resources that the MultiService Center provides.  

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