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City Council to vote on W House loan request

June 16, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council is scheduled next month to discuss and vote on a $350,000 loan which would provide the W House of Hagerstown Foundation Inc. with the final portion of money needed for its planned new shelter.

The money would come from the city's Community Development Block Grant funding through a city program established to assist nonprofit organizations with construction and expansion projects to improve services for low- and moderate-income citizens, said George Andreve, manager of the Hagerstown Community Development.

The total cost of the W House project is $1.13 million.

Council members briefly discussed the request during Tuesday's meeting. Members said they would like W House Executive Director Christina Trenton to attend a July meeting so they can ask her questions about the program and the planned expansion.

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Councilman Kristin Aleshire said he was concerned expanding the program might draw more residents from outside Washington County.

On Thursday, Trenton said that while 80 percent of the women treated are county residents, the program also serves some from Allegany and Carroll counties.

The number of requests from non-county residents may increase, but county residents will continue to be accepted into the program before non-county residents, Trenton said.

Aleshire and Councilman N. Linn Hendershot also expressed concern that W House is duplicating services provided by the Washington County Health Department's CAMEO House, a long-term transitional housing facility that offers a variety of treatment services for alcohol- and drug-addicted mothers of children under 13. CAMEO stands for Children And Mothers Experiencing Opportunities.

The council members said they would ask Washington County Health Officer William Christoffel for his opinion.

On Thursday, Christoffel said he will tell them "absolutely and emphatically. ... Both facilities are absolutely needed."

Both programs serve women with substance abuse problems but people who go through W House have previously gone through a treatment program while those in CAMEO House have not, he said.

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