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San Mar finishes $700,000 addition

May 13, 1997

By TERRY TALBERT

Staff Writer

The San Mar Children's Home on Mapleville Road near Boonsboro has finished a new $700,000 group home that will house seven more girls who otherwise would have spent time in homes in other states.

San Mar cares for girls ages 12 to 18 who are the victims of abuse, neglect, or dysfunctional families. They are referred to the home by state social service agencies, or by the courts.

San Mar Director Bruce Anderson said the new therapeutic group home was built with $350,000 in state money and $350,000 in matching funds raised by San Mar.

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"They said we could have the money if we could match it within two years," Anderson said. "We did it in six months."

The home already had $200,000 toward construction and the rest of the money came from service clubs, corporate donors and individuals, some of whom donated up to $25,000.

"We hope to have the girls here by July 1," Anderson said.

The building is being named "The Jack E. Barr Home" in honor of the late Jack Barr, former board member who was chairman of the building project.

"Pappy's Place," as it is affectionately known by the staff, will be dedicated at 11 a.m. on June 4. There will be an open house at 3 p.m.

Anderson said Barr was called "Pap" or "Pappy" by his grandchildren.

Three girls are in the transitional living house at San Mar, and 26 in the main residence building, Anderson said.

Anderson said the new building is part of an effort by the state to bring back to Maryland approximately 300 children who are in out-of-state homes.

Maryland was paying millions of dollars to keep the girls out-of-state.

Anderson, Barr and others lobbied to get those children and those dollars back in Maryland.

In 1992, there were about 800 Maryland children in homes in other states, Anderson said.

Today, that number is at 300 because homes such as San Mar are expanding.

Anderson said a state law passed as a result of lobbying efforts requires that all Maryland children in out-of-state homes be placed in Maryland homes by July.

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