Md. OKs grant to build shelter for homeless

$608,872 would help construct Safe Haven in Westminster

Waited a year for approval

Carroll County

March 07, 2002|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

After waiting nearly a year, the Carroll commissioners learned yesterday that state officials have given the county a $608,872 grant to build Safe Haven homeless shelter.

The county had been awaiting word on the grant since April. Officials with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development refused to release the grant money until a copy of the winning bid was forwarded to the state Board of Public Works.

"The money the state gave us will allow us to move forward with the new homeless shelter," said county budget director Steven D. Powell.

In April, the county commissioners approved plans to build a 33-bed shelter on the condition that the state provide half of the funding for the project. The county and Westminster are expected to contribute the remaining money needed for the $1.2 million homeless shelter, which would be built on Stoner Avenue in Westminster.

Carroll sold the current 25-bed site for Safe Haven - Shoemaker House, also on Stoner Avenue, near the planned site - to Carroll County General Hospital in 1995. The hospital has been allowing the shelter, which serves homeless people with mental illness and substance abuse problems, to stay at the site while the county searches for a new location.

Safe Haven is run by Human Services Programs of Carroll County Inc., a nonprofit corporation that operates several homeless programs under contract with the county.

In other business, the commissioners also learned yesterday that state officials have awarded Carroll three other grants:

$34,000 to help pay for an $80,000 program that tracks court-mandated protective orders.

$132,000 to help pay for a $177,000 senior inclusion program that helps elderly residents who suffer from developmental disabilities to participate in senior center activities.

$20,000 for a $29,000 program that would allow prisoners at the detention center to attend their bail hearing via video camera, rather than appear in person before a court commissioner.

The county commissioners also voted yesterday to apply for a state grant that would cover about 50 percent of what it would cost to build a heroin treatment center in Sykesville. The proposed project is expected to cost about $2.5 million to $3 million.

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