The Maryland Rural Development Corporation (MRDC) is a private non-profit organization that has been providing services in response to the needs of rural, low-income households and communities since 1979. MRDC’s activities benefit low-income communities and individuals throughout rural Maryland. Since 1986, MRDC has served as Caroline, Cecil, and Kent Counties’ official Community Action Agency.
"In partnership with governmental and non-governmental agencies, MRDC provides community and educational resources to increase self-sufficiency in a strong, sustainable rural Maryland.”
What makes MRDC unique is our ability to provide so many necessary and diverse services to the rural poor while increasingly serving “the whole person” – ensuring, for example, that our Head Start parents can earn their GEDs and build their futures as their children are building theirs. We also provide transportation, childcare, and meals in our adult education program because we understand that we are serving families when we serve the individual.
MRDC’s key programs:
- Head Starts in Harford, Cecil, and Caroline counties, serving over 450 children each school year
- Early Head Start in Cecil County, currently serving 50 families and expanding
- Adult education (run in conjunction with Chesapeake and Cecil Colleges), serving 75 adults and over 50 families each year
- Economic development consultation services
- Housing assistance, including weatherization and rehabilitation, serving over 500 families per year
- Financial literacy education and training for first-time home-buyers, as well as foreclosure prevention, loan mitigation assistance, and emergency mortgage counseling.
- Disconnected Youth, serving 70 young people in Kent County
- MRDC’s circuit riders assist 18 towns and have procured over $300,000 total for projects in addition to grant funding we help to secure
- The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) administered by MRDC serves 17 small towns and has brought in over $100 million in improvements over the past 15 years – providing safe, potable drinking water and adequate waste water, solid waste management, and local leadership development.
- Legislative advocacy
To operate our programs in such a way that:
- Low income people become more self sufficient
- Conditions in which low income people live are improved
- Low income people own a stake in their community
- Partnerships among service providers to low income people are achieved
- Agencies increase their capacity to achieve results
- Low income people, especially those populations that are the most vulnerable, achieve their potential by promoting family and other supportive environments
MRDC provides services to promote education, equality, and the environment in rural Maryland.
- Identify and develop resources to support individual, family, and community development
- Promote effective leadership in rural Maryland, helping communities achieve growth and self-sustainability
- Maximize the use of technology to enhance the delivery of services and information
- Utilize resources in collaborative partnerships
- Work with communities to identify changing needs and develop programs to address the issues
- Operating Head Start centers in Cecil, Harford, and Caroline counties
- Providing counseling and assistance in landlord/tenant relations and eviction prevention
- Providing foreclosure prevention information
- Working with community based organizations and local governments to provide safe water and waste water, solid waste, and local leadership development services
- Sponsoring the State of Maryland Circuit Rider Town Management Program, bringing professional administrative and management services to small, rural towns on a part-time, shared-cost basis