The United Way of Dodge City and two of the agencies that depend on it for funding have moved into new homes.

    Earlier this month, the United Way, Ford County Kids Count and the Court Appointed Special Advocates program moved out of their previous offices in Hennessy Hall into the Civic Plaza on First Avenue. The three agencies hosted an open house Tuesday to celebrate their move and show their new offices to the public.

    Officials from all three agencies said they thought their new location would make it easier for people to benefit from their services.


The United Way of Dodge City and two of the agencies that depend on it for funding have moved into new homes.
    Earlier this month, the United Way, Ford County Kids Count and the Court Appointed Special Advocates program moved out of their previous offices in Hennessy Hall into the Civic Plaza on First Avenue. The three agencies hosted an open house Tuesday to celebrate their move and show their new offices to the public.
    Officials from all three agencies said they thought their new location would make it easier for people to benefit from their services.
    "I think it's going to be more centrally located, so people can get here easier," said Bridget James, advocate supervisor for CASA. "We're not so far north, so I think it'll be better to bring people in."
    United Way's executive director, Gayle Ausmus, said that the three agencies had considered relocating even before Dodge City Public Schools proposed converting Hennessy Hall into a second middle school. And when school district officials announced their plans for Hennessy Hall, the agencies stepped up their search for a new home.
    Ausmus said the agencies' efforts led them to the Civic Plaza, where they found vacant office space that would serve their needs and make them easier to find.
    "When people a lot of times were looking to come to one of our three offices, it wasn't the easiest thing to find," she said. "And I think right now, being among the schools and the Civic Center, we're going to be easy to locate."
    Ausmus said she has probably seen more off-the-street visitors who need help since she moved to Civic Plaza than she did in two years at Hennessy Hall.
    Tammie West, executive director of Ford County Kids Count, touted several advantages of the new location over the old one. Among them: A cozier, more cheerful atmosphere; easier access to neighborhood schools; and a shorter drive to the courthouse.
    "This location's going to be so much nicer," she said. "I think it's going to be a good move."
   
Reach Eric Swanson at (620) 408-9917 or e-mail him at eric.swanson@dodgeglobe.com.

For more information
 Contact for the three social service agencies in Civic Plaza:
     • United Way of Dodge City: 2010 First Ave., Suite A. Phone: 227-8793. E-mail: uwayofdc@swbell.net.
     • Ford County Kids Count: 2010 First Ave., Suite B. Phone: 225-2331.
     • Court Appointed Special Advocates/Children Worth Saving: 2008 First Ave., Suite 806. Phone: 225-1278.