St. Mary's Homeless Shelter Seeks Taxpayer Funds to Expand

By Guy Leonard, St. Mary's County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md.—The management of Three Oaks Center, the county’s primary homeless shelter, plans to purchase a small mobile facility to better serve the needs of its clients, according to a recent letter to the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County, and it wants county elected leaders to provide more funding for its operations.

“Three Oaks would like the county to provide the sewer, water and electrical hook-up for the modular facility to enable delivery of services from the site,” wrote the center’s director Lanny Lancaster.

The request also includes a contract, with a total value of $144,050 between Three Oaks and the county government for increased funding to operate those three utilities from the site, according to the letter, which also encompasses compensation for more employees to run the additional facility.

The program is aimed specifically at homeless veterans and those without shelter during the winter months and is in addition to the $125,000 the agency already gets from the county annually as a non-county entity providing a critical service.

Lancaster acknowledged that the additonal funds would more than double the amount of funding the county already provides; currently elected leaders have decided to hold most increases in funding for community non-profits.

Lancaster told The County Times that the six beds included in the proposal was perhaps the most critical part. “It’s a need, it’s not a luxury,” Lancaster said of the 60-foot by 36-foot modular facility. “The numbers [of homeless] have consistently gone up.”

The six beds at the new facility would be for homeless people who are often the most difficult to help with standard housing because they suffer from mental illness, substance abuse or both.

“These six beds could make the difference for someone in crisis,” Lancaster said. “Most of them are chronically homeless, they are a danger to themselves and a nuisance to others.”

Three Oaks Homeless Center, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. The IRS Form 990 for the tax year 2013 is online at Executive compensation is listed on pp. 6-8. To contribute time or money, visit

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