Catholic Charities told to deal with charges against shelter ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

January 13, 1993|By Deidre Nerreau McCabe | Deidre Nerreau McCabe,Staff Writer

The director of Anne Arundel County's Department of Social Services wants Associated Catholic Charities of Baltimore to detail how it will deal with alleged problems at a 64-bed homeless shelter it runs for the county.

"I've requested a complete report that addresses these problems," said Edward R. Bloom, the county's social services director. "We're going to sit down and look at whether there is evidence of these problems. If there is, we have to make it right."

Mr. Bloom's request came after former and current staff members and clients of Sarah's House went public last month with several complaints, including charges of theft of donated items by employees, sexual harassment of guests and staff members and sexual liaisons between staff members and clients at the shelter, located on the grounds of Fort Meade.

Although Mr. Bloom has yet to receive the report, he said that he expects it within the next few days.

Staff members, who said they feared for their jobs by speaking out, said their complaints to Catholic Charities administrators have been brushed aside in the past. They felt going public was their only chance of getting action.

"If you voiced a complaint, it was held against you. Many people became just too uptight to speak out," said one employee, who asked that her name not be used. She said harassment of certain staff members and guests by a supervisor, which has gone on for months, has not been addressed despite numerous complaints.

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