The Department of Human Resources has announced plans to open four group homes, three in southeast and one in northeast, to house youths committed to their care by the courts.
Thaddeus Taylor, director of the Bureau of Youth Services of DHR, the agency which runs the city's group homes, said plans to lease the houses from the Department of Housing and Community Development are still in the negotiating stage. However, the proposed homes would house up to 40 youths altogether.
The homes will be divided into two classifications: "shelter homes" for youths awaiting trial as delinquents; and group homes for youths classified as truants or discipline problems under a special DHR program called People In Need of Supervision (PINS), said Taylor.
The properties to be leased are at 2550 Stanton Rd., SE; 3197-99 Stanton Rd., SE; 335-337 Ridge Rd., SE; and 409-411 51st Street, NE. Renovation of the homes would be provided for by DHR, and staff will most likely be acquired from readjusting programs in other group homes, said Taylor.
"There's a shortage of staff and we're really not sure how we will staff the house," said Taylor, "but they will be adequately staffed."
Youths in the homes will come from Cedar Knoll and through court referals, as PINS and shelter cases arise in the system, continued Taylor.
"It (the program) will be based on the agency's needs. Right now the need is greater for shelter houses than PINS," he said.
Taylor described the proposal for the four homes as "part of a continuing youth group home program.
In August, DHR removed all youths under the People In Need of Supervision program from The Childrens' Center in Laurel, Md. to group homes in the community, as part of an effort to transfer problem youths from insitutions back to their communities. At present 49 youths, under this program, are in group homes run by the department.