Cumberland Times-News

November 16, 2012

Girls’ home needs holiday donations

Commission also grants Warrior Run a tax credit

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — The Allegany Girls’ Therapeutic Group Home, located in Cumberland, is seeking donations for Christmas for its residents and adults who are interested in being mentors.

“They give back to the community,” said Jennifer Younker during an update given to the county commissioners at Thursday’s public meeting.

Younker is approaching four years as the program director at the home. The girls participate in the United Way Day of Caring and Sharing and work at the county animal shelter, Younker said.

In 2011, management of the home was transferred from the YMCA to San Mar Children’s Home of Boonsboro.

The girls’ home can have up to eight girls ages 13 to 18. All the girls have been adjudicated by courts, and while preference is given to local girls, they can come from anywhere in Maryland.

Many of the girls find what they’re looking for, Younker said.

“They find they want to live here,” she said and many locate in the community. Some end up completing their GEDs and attending Allegany College of Maryland or Frostburg State University, Younker said.

Commission President Michael McKay has said one of the girls who worked at his dry-cleaning business was “a blessing” and he encouraged adults interested in mentoring the girls to contact the home.

There are many success stories, Younker said, including one former resident who now works at the White House. She stays in touch with residents and staff.

“We are her family,” said Younker.

Younker told the story of one girl who went through the home’s program. She became very upset over the Christmas tree at the home. When Younker asked her why she was so bothered by it, the girl told her the only Christmas tree she ever had before was one she drew and placed on the wall of her room. The girl said she was beaten that night.

The home’s phone number is 301-777-8262.

In other actions, commissioners granted a tax credit to AES Warrior Run Limited Partnership for equipment purchased in 2011. The exemption was for $2.641 million and “change,” said County Attorney William Rudd.

The exemption is a regular occurrence for the company’s capital investment in the coal-fired power plant in Allegany County. The company must still pay taxes on the first $50,000 of the property, Rudd said. This doesn’t affect the company’s responsibility for real estate property taxes.

Commissioners also appointed Tracy Lee as a member of the Allegany County Department of Social Services Board filling an existing vacancy. The term expires June 30, 2015.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.