A Carroll County nonprofit assisting youth and families has been awarded more than $335,000 in federal funding to expand its mental health services, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin announced yesterday.
"One of my top priorities has been what we do with our children," Cardin said at the Carroll County Youth Service Bureau in Westminster.
"The services that are provided here are so important for a healthy community ... . We can't afford to lose children."
The youth service bureau serves as an outpatient mental health clinic for the community, providing such services as mediation, parent education, violence assessment and family intervention programs, said Lynn Davis, executive director of the bureau.
Since 2003, the bureau has seen a nearly 80 percent increase in people served, Davis said during a presentation on the organization.
The federal money will help give the bureau flexibility in using its own funds, Cardin said in an interview.
"We're all pretty excited," Davis said.
The funding was also supported by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, Cardin said.
The bureau, which started in 1972, has plans to expand from its current 8,600-square-foot building on 140 Village Road to a new, 22,000-square-foot facility near Route 32 and Kate Wagner Road in Westminster.
Davis said groundbreaking should take place in March.
Several grants and contributions are already in place for the building, which will cost about $7 million, Davis said -- including a capital grant from the state Department of Juvenile Services for half the cost, and contributions from the France-Merrick and Weinberg foundations.
"It's going to be a wonderful facility, but it's really important for people to realize that we really see it as the conduit for more service for the county," Davis said.
"We think the building is critically important for your future," Cardin said yesterday. "We hope this will make it just a little bit easier for you to reach that goal."