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HotSpots office moves to new location

September 08, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

The Hagerstown HotSpots office, which had outgrown its North Street space, recently moved a short distance to the Martin Luther King Center in the same block.

The new office is on the second floor of the center, which is also in the 100 block of North Street.

"We were receiving so many donations that the county offered to let us spread out here," said HotSpots Coordinator Carolyn Brooks.

She said the new office gives her about twice as much space for supplies, donations, her desk and a conference area. She officially moved in May but is still settling in, she said.

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"It's a work in progress," she said.

Brooks said the room, which had been vacant, will be divided into areas for such things as tutoring, a meeting area, storage and a work space for her.

"The added space will be better for the conference area. It will have more privacy," she said.

Brooks accepts food and other donations to help needy residents in the HotSpots area.

The HotSpots geographic area is Prospect Avenue to Memorial Avenue and is bounded on the east and west by Prospect and Mulberry streets.

In August, Hagerstown received more than $100,000 to fund the third year of the HotSpots initiative, which targets high-crime neighborhoods with a comprehensive attack combining police, community groups, parole and probation agents and after school programs.

Being at the center where a Head Start program is held lets her keep in close contact with parents, children and Social Service workers, Brooks said.

It also saves the HotSpots program money. Her previous location had cost $200 a month, money that came out of Brook's coordination budget, she said. Washington County is providing the new office at no charge.

"The new space is a little larger and it allows more interaction. It's a good second step," said Gregory I. Snook, president of the Washington County Commissioners.

Brooks shared the old office with the Hagerstown City Police and Department and Parole and Probation, she said. Although she moved out, police and social workers will continue to use that location, she said.

The public is welcome to stop in to share their concerns with Brooks as they had been at her old office, she said.

"That hasn't changed," she said.

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