Project Description


Columbia, Maryland


Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center is Howard County, Maryland’s only emergency shelter and 24-hour crisis intervention service program. The private, nonprofit Center had operated previously in an aging, much smaller 8,900 square foot building on the same site. Synthesis assisted Grassroots in examining a number of alternative locations before it decided on an expansion and replacement of the building on the existing site.

The new 25,150 square foot building contains a combined 55 beds in its family and women’s shelter, its men’s shelter and an emergency shelter. It includes space for 24- hour call center hotline assistance, walk-in counseling and a Mobile Crisis team that can dispatch from the Center.

Its shelter programs serve an average of 87 families or women with children (totaling an average of 344 people) annually and 687 people annually in its day resource center. The 24-hour crisis intervention services average 30,266 hotline contacts, 1,610 face-to-face contacts, 4,541 shelter requests and 429 Mobile Crisis Team responses per year.

Synthesis had full project management responsibility up to commencement of construction when Howard County, as owner of the building, assumed project management responsibility.  Synthesis acted as the representative of the Center as the tenant during construction.

GHB Architects
Total Site Contracting
Total Cost

Complex Funding
Public-Private Partnership
Significant Site Constraints

“More than a partner, Synthesis saw its role as being our advocates and they respected our wishes and preferences while providing the expertise to make it all happen.”
Andrea Ingram, Executive Director