The Westminster Rescue Mission wants to add eight beds for its alcohol- and drug-rehabilitation program that now serves 30 men, its director said.
The Rev. William M. Correll III said he wants to add four beds to a dormitory building that sleeps 32, including two staff members, and four beds to a recently renovated house at the mission at 658 Lucabaugh Mill Road, outside Westminster.
Stu's Music Shop donated the two-bedroom rancher to the mission about five years ago, Mr. Correll said.
He will explain his plan at a hearing before the county Board of Zoning Appeals at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the County Office Building in Westminster. The mission must have the board's permission to expand.
The mission operates a six-month program to help men break their addiction to drugs or alcohol, Mr. Correll said. The mission also runs a 10-week halfway-house program for men who have completed the longer program and have jobs in the area, he said.
"We are usually filled all year round," Mr. Correll said.
"We look at it as a spiritual sickness. We give the fellows pastoral, Christian and biblical counseling. We're looking for a lifestyle change."
The average age for men in the program is 30, and the mission will allow participants as young as 18, he said.
"We take Carroll County residents first," Mr. Correll said, but men from New Jersey, Ohio and the Baltimore area also have participated.
The program is free, he said. Two-thirds of the mission's $400,000 budget comes from revenue at two secondhand stores it operates in Westminster and Sykesville, he said. The rest of the budget comes from cash donations.
"We don't take any government funds," he said.
The mission has eight employees on Lucabaugh Mill Road and several others in the stores, Mr. Correll said.
The mission changed its focus when it moved to its current location in 1985. It had operated as "almost a flop house" at two downtown Westminster locations since 1969, he said. Men would spend the night, but would return to the streets during the day, he said.
When the mission moved to Lucabaugh Mill Road, most men were required to stay six months and were not allowed to leave the property, he said.
The mission now has 27 beds for men in the rehab program and three beds for transients, men who need a place to sleep for a night, Mr. Correll said. Men are referred to the mission by hospitals and churches, and some come on their own, he said.
The mission started the 10-week halfway-house program because many men who completed the six-month program were homeless, Mr. Correll said.
Men may stay on at the mission if they have a job in the area. They are required to save $100 a week, so that they will have $1,000 at the end of their stay to help pay for an apartment, he said.
"We try to do everything we can to get them back into the community," Mr. Correll said.