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Expo provides info on services in Hancock

September 21, 2000

Expo provides info on services in Hancock



By ANDREA BROWN-HURLEY / Staff Writer


HANCOCK - The Human Service Expo at Hancock Middle-Senior High School Wednesday offered a wealth of information to visitors like Hancock High junior Chelsea Thomas.

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"I knew there would be a lot of stuff here about parenting," said Chelsea, 15, whose son, Matthew, is four months old. "I just wanted to pick up some tips."

Chelsea filled a bag with information from agencies such as the Family Support Network, Parent-Child Center, Washington County Early Intervention and the Washington County Public Schools' Partners for Success program.

"We're trying to get some interest in free parenting classes," said Daphne Anderson-Hughes, educational director at the Parent-Child Center.

"If we have the need, we'll come out here to Hancock," she said.

Sponsored by the Washington County Community Partnership for Children & Families, the Expo gave Hancock residents a chance to voice the needs of their community and to explore available human services.

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"People don't know where they can go to get help," said Barbara Andreadis, a psychiatric social worker based in Hancock. "I think it's wonderful that people have come here to commit to work as a team."

More than 30 providers of services ranging from agricultural extension to mental health set up displays in a united outreach effort, said project coordinator Melissa Boyer.

The Expo is the first step in the Hagerstown-based Community Partnership's strategic plan to reach under-served, outlying areas.

"You bet we've got a need," said Hancock Mayor Dan Murphy. "I just think this is tremendous. I hope the public will come out and get informed."

Hancock resident Barbara Gossage said she turned out to the event to gather information to share with her 11-year-old daughter.

Many Hancock High students stopped at Hagerstown Community College's booth to investigate one option for their futures.

"This is a great connecting point," said Michael H. Parsons, dean of instruction at HCC. "We're doing a complete reassessment of our role in the community. We need to get more visibility up here."

Expo participants were also invited to participate in the Community Partnership for Children & Families' board of directors meeting from 6-8 p.m. to learn more about the workings of the agency.

The Community Partnership serves as a link between state and government offices. It offers such services as grant funding, data collection, referral services and technical assistance.

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