In St. Mary's County, community services are offered by the Department of Aging and Human Services, and the Department of Social Services.
[photo, Department of Aging and Human Services, Garvey Senior Center, 41780 Baldridge St., Leonardtown, Maryland]


The Department of Aging and Human Services originated as the Office of Aging, and reorganized as the Department of Aging. In July 2011, the Department of Aging merged with the Department of Human Services to form the Department of Aging and Human Services.

Department of Aging & Human Services, 41780 Baldridge St., Leonardtown, Maryland, November 2017. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Department is the local area agency designated by St. Mary's County to administer State and federal funds for local senior citizen programs. These programs cover advocacy services, health education, housing, information and referral, in-home services, and nutrition (Code Human Services Article, secs. 10-201 through 10-214).

Grants of federal and State funds for local programs to serve the elderly are provided by the federal Older Americans Act (Title III), the federal Food and Agriculture Act (sec. 700), and State general funds. The Department also receives local funds, private donations, and contributions from program participants.

The Department is responsible for the Human Services Division, and the Senior Information and Assistance Office, and is aided by the Commission on Aging.

The Human Services Division is responsible for the Office of Community Services and the Local Management Board.

The Senior Center Operations Division oversees three centers: Garvey Senior Activity Center (Leonardtown); Loffler Senior Activity Center (Great Mills); and Northern Senior Activity Center (Charlotte Hall).

Formerly at 41780 Baldridge Street, the Garvey Senior Activity Center moved to 23630 Hayden Farm Lane, Leonardtown, in April 2020.


The St. Mary's County Housing Authority was created by the Board of County Commissioners on June 29, 1971 (Resolution no. 71-25).

The Authority conducts programs to improve community life, and bolster the social and economic health of the County. Programs offered by the Authority include: Family Self-Sufficiency, Family Unification, Housing Choice Voucher, Housing Rehabilitation, and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Voucher.


When the Department of Social Services started as the Department of Public Welfare in 1939, the Welfare Board was the local administrative agency for public assistance (Chapter 99, Acts of 1939). The Department of Public Welfare assumed welfare responsibilities from the Welfare Board in 1967, and was renamed the Department of Social Services in 1968 (Chapter 148, Acts of 1967; Chapter 702, Acts of 1968).

Social service and public assistance programs in St. Mary's County are the responsibility of the Department of Social Services. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the food stamp program), and Temporary Cash Assistance, as well as services for adoption, foster care, and child protection. To implement programs and provide support services to children and families in their communities, the Department also works with local organizations to offer education and training, transitional housing, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. The Director of the Department administers these programs subject to the supervision, direction, and control of the Social Services Administration, and the Family Investment Administration.

With the approval of the Secretary of Human Services and the advice of the St. Mary's County Social Services Board, the Board of County Commissioners appoints the Director (Code Human Services Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-303).

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