Homeless shelter staff to move Agency will be in former barrel house

January 14, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

The program that operates Carroll County homeless shelters is scheduled to move into new offices in late February, seven months after an eviction deadline set by its host.

The staff of Human Services Programs Inc. will move into the basement of the county-owned former barrel house on Distillery Drive in Westminster, county Public Works Director Keith Kirschnick reported to the county commissioners Tuesday.

Mr. Kirschnick said that renovations, done primarily by county workers, are expected to be completed by mid-February. The Human Services staff will occupy part of the space now used by Food Sunday, an emergency food-distribution program.

Human Services Programs' landlord, the Carroll County Department of Social Services, set a July 15, 1992, deadline for the staff to move out of DSS offices that HSP had occupied rent-free for five years.

The new site will house human services agencies, "as many as we can fit in," Mr. Kirschnick said. The state rents space for DSS offices in the building, and the county Citizen Services Bureau is scheduled to move in next week.

Social Services Director M. Alexander Jones said last summer that he needed the Human Services space for additional staff. But the state agency let the deadline pass without action while the county commissioners studied options.

The county government contracts with Human Services, a private, nonprofit corporation, to operate homeless shelters and other aid programs. The government had no legal obligation to find office space for Human Services, but HSP officials said that they would have had to cut off shelter admissions and stop emergency aid programs if the staff were evicted.

Mr. Jones said yesterday that Social Services coped with the delay by deferring hiring and staggering training schedules so that some new employees would be in training while others were working. "And we're sitting on top of each other," he added.

The social services director said that he wants to get renovations completed as fast as possible so staff members can move into the space vacated by Human Services. He said he does not yet know the cost of the renovations, primarily installation of partitions and painting. A contract for the work must be approved by the state Department of Human Resources, he said. The department is the parent agency of Social Services.

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