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Human Services Council moves to new home

July 10, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - After 23 years, the Waynesboro Area Human Services Council has found a new home downtown to dispense food, clothing, diapers and money to the needy.

Since 1979, when it was established by the Waynesboro Fellowship of Churches, the council had operated out of 40 W. North St., a building owned by Trinity United Church of Christ.

However, several months ago, the church decided that it wanted to use the building itself, so the Human Services Council needed a new place to call home.

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The Human Services Council started moving into 24 E. Main St., near the square, on June 22, Coordinator Denise Esser said.

GRC General Contractor Inc. of Greencastle, Pa., donated work to close off the food bank and build a new bathroom.

There's still a little left to do. A spacious back room is being fixed up to be the clothing bank, which is expected to open July 22, Esser said.

Cumberland Valley Mental Health Center, Catholic Charities and Franklin/Fulton County Mental Health/Mental Retardation are among the social services agencies that rent space from the Human Services Council.

The council has about 3,000 square feet in its new building, which is about the same as before.

But while the council's West North Street office was on three floors, this one is on one floor - narrow, but deep.

"It's a little hard for storage, but we're OK," Esser said.

With only one floor, the council is now handicapped-accessible.

Also, it's more visible to the public and in a convenient, central location, Esser said.

"We think this is a good move for us, to be on Main Street," she said.

The council serves low-income residents of the Waynesboro Area and Greencastle-Antrim school districts.

The council provided clothing to 595 households in 2001.

The agency also provided 1,601 boxes of food to 267 households and $21,427 to 220 households.

Seventy-three households received 545 packs of diapers and 255 packs of baby wipes.

Esser said diapers are sold at a discount, while food and clothing is free. Donations are accepted.

The council gives baskets to households for Christmas, dinners for Thanksgiving and backpacks and other supplies in August, before school starts.

The council lends air conditioners to people with medical conditions and fans to people regardless of their health.

Esser said the number of requests for cash doubled from November 2000 to November 2001. She attributed the increase to the local economy, which has been hurt by layoffs at several Franklin County manufacturing businesses.

The council's 2002 budget is $88,000.

About 31 percent of the money comes from United Way, about 30 percent is made up of grants and the rest comes from the Waynesboro Fellowship of Churches and donations, Esser said.

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