Social Services office moving to former store

January 27, 1995|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,Sun Staff Writer

The Catonsville office of the Department of Social Services will move this weekend from a cramped Frederick Road office to a building that was once a supermarket.

Now at 727 Frederick Road, the office will open for business Monday morning at 910 Frederick Road, the former home of Caton Market, because the demand for services outgrew the amount of space.

"We have experienced a very large increase for applications for income maintenance services," said Maureen Robinson, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Department of Social Services. The services include Aid for Families with Dependant Children, medical assistance and food stamps, Ms. Robinson said.

"We've been unable for a while to serve the actual residents of Catonsville in that tiny office," she said. "The lines are very long. The staff has just been cheek by jowl, trying their very best under very antiquated and bad circumstances."

Moving to the old store will almost double the office space from 5,000 square feet to about 9,000 square feet, said Nancy Warner, income maintenance services supervisor at the Catonsville branch.

Caton Market closed two years ago because it was not well-supported by the community, Ms. Robinson said.

The change of use from a retail outlet to office use generated a boisterous debate at an April 1994 community meeting. Many Catonsville residents expressed disappointment that it was not going to be used as a retail anchor for the neighborhood; other residents felt that anything was better than a vacant property.

Figures for the fiscal year ending June 30 show that the Catonsville office served about 4,200 clients and received 575 new applications monthly.

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