County to operate Safe Haven until July with state funds; Federal grant to program due to end March 31


Carroll has secured adequate funding to keep the county's Safe Haven homeless program operating until July, county officials said yesterday.

The state has given the county permission to transfer $25,000 in state funds from the county mental health director's budget to the homeless program, whose three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ends March 31.

Those funds will cover the operating costs of the shelter from April 1 through June 30, said Jolene G. Sullivan, director of the Department of Citizen Services. Operating costs include supplies, heat and personnel, she said.

The shelter is in the old Shoemaker House near Carroll County General Hospital in Westminster. It has 25 beds and serves substance abusers and the mentally ill.

County officials are hoping to secure an additional $22,000 from the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to pay for the addictions services provided at Safe Haven, Sullivan said.

"We've overcome quite a few hurdles," she said. "But we're far from finishing the race."

Sullivan said a task force will look at long-term funding solutions at the end of this month.

Carroll's six-member legislative delegation was asked last month to find state funding for the homeless program, which has for several months been looking for a suitable place to relocate.

A new facility had been planned, but a dispute over an appropriate location ended the project. The commissioners changed long-standing plans to build at a site on Stoner Avenue, near its current location, in favor of county-owned land near Route 140 and Center Street, an area once known as Crowltown. Westminster officials protested vehemently.

After more than a year of feuding, state officials asked the county to return a $125,000 federal grant that had been awarded for construction of the shelter.

Pub Date: 1/13/99

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