Westminster Operations Getting New Office and Residential Community Home - Penn-Mar

Westminster Operations Getting New Office and Residential Community Home

Posted on June 24, 2024

By Gregory T. Miller, President and Chief Executive Officer, Penn-Mar Human Services | Chief Executive Officer, Penn-Mar Foundation

It has been a big month for Penn-Mar’s Westminster, Maryland-based operation. We just closed on a new building to house our operations team and have converted a former respite home into a much-needed residential community home.

When Change, Inc. became a division of our organization in 2019, its team continued to provide customized employment, day services with a focus on community participation, and personal supports out of an older facility on Stoner Ave.

Eighteen months ago, with an eye to the future, we sold that facility back to Carroll County – the actual landowners – but continued to rent there in anticipation of a move to a larger, more customized location.

We found that space in a well-known former medical building, conveniently located in the Washington Heights Medical Complex in Westminster. We settled on the property June 6th and have begun to plan in earnest for significant renovations that will better meet the needs of the people with disabilities we support, and the team that supports them.

The 7500 sq. ft. accessible two-story building will primarily house offices for our Penn-Mar West support team. This facility will allow us to assemble the entire team under one roof and will provide greater opportunities for collaboration.

We are exploring the possibility of adding some light programming space there as well – smaller in scale than what we have in Freeland and Far Hills – that would be designed to accommodate a smaller group of people daily. We hope to be up and running in the new location in 6-9 months.

At the time of the 2019 merger, Change also operated a respite home in Carroll County. It was designed to accommodate 4 people for a short period of time while they recovered from an illness or injury and also provided a temporary break to caregivers. Today, respite care funded by the State of Maryland is mostly confined to individuals’ homes rather than a dedicated facility.

We saw this trend as the perfect opportunity to convert our facility-based respite building into a much-needed community home. Our Supported Living program is helping a lot of adults who will eventually be looking for a residential living option. With the renovation complete, we are now in the process of furnishing the home, which is slated to be the first of many we hope to open in the area.

We are fortunate that our team in Westminster has a great leader in its Administrator, Danielle Gattine. She is supported by many long-term, experienced professionals who are doing terrific work there.

I am delighted to share this update of all the recent activity in Carroll County, which is just another example of how we are continually expanding our mission to support people to live courageously in pursuit of their best life.

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