THERE ARE TWICE as many reasons for businesses and employees in Howard County to contribute to the United Way of Central Maryland this year.
The county's United Way community partnership includes four new certified agencies that work on human needs in the county. For some people, these groups make the difference between welfare and work, between success and failure.
The four new agencies are the Family Life Center, Careerscope, Foreign-Born Information Network (FIRN) and the Sexual Trauma Treatment, Advocacy and Recovery (STTAR) Center. Their selection as United Way agencies -- after an extensive review of their financial records, hiring practices and programs -- are akin to the Consumer Reports stamp of approval or the Good Housekeeping seal.
Careerscope has been at the center of welfare reform in Howard County, serving as a partner to the Department of Social Services' Jobs First program.
The agency teaches job-search and job-interview skills, helping to tear down the once-formidable barriers to employment. Careerscope operates a program for pregnant teen-agers and teen-age girls with young children to teach parenting and life skills. Its purpose is to promote self-sufficiency.
The STTAR center, formerly the Sexual Assault Center, has done remarkable work aiding victims of rape and other sex crimes. Employ- ees and volunteers give support to victims in hospitals and courts, performing admirably without many resources. The center offers advice for women and girls to safeguard themselves from sexual assaults.
FIRN helps immigrants settle into the area as smoothly as possible -- important work in one of the more diverse suburban jurisdictions in the state. The Family Life Center counsels adults and children in need of mental health therapy.
Your dollars also go to four stalwart organizations previously approved as United Way agencies that do critical work in the community: the Domestic Violence Center, the ARC (Association of Retarded Citizens) of Howard County, the Development Services Group and Grassroots.
For more information, call the United Way office in Columbia at 410-730-3708.
Pub Date: 10/28/97