York City human relations group leaving county office

Jason Addy

The York City Human Relations Commission will move out of the York County Administrative Center to make room for an expansion at the county Office of Children, Youth and Families.

The human relations group will leave its basement office in the administrative center at 28 E. Market St. by March 31 and will be replaced by the county Department of Veterans Affairs, said Mark Walters, the county communications director.

A flag flies at half-staff at the York County Administrative Center in York City, Monday, June 13, 2016. President Barack Obama directed that flags be flown at half-staff until sunset on Thursday, honoring the victims of the recent attack in Orlando. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Veterans Affairs currently operates out of the first floor of the county’s human services building, which it shares with CYF, Walters said.

CYF is “busting at the seams” and will take over the first floor after Veterans Affairs moves to the basement, Walters said.

Karen Rollins-Fitch, acting chair of the human relations commission, said that members are looking for a new office and that she does not believe the move will affect the group’s work.

“We’re not going to leave the client base with nowhere to turn,” she said.

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If anything, the move has the potential to increase the demand for the commission’s services through increased accessibility in the city’s neighborhoods, Rollins-Fitch said.

Though the move was out of the commission’s control, Rollins-Fitch said there won’t be any hard feelings between the group and the county.

“Things happen,” she said. “I don’t think it was done with a malicious intent.”

The York City Human Relations Commission is tasked with protecting the civil rights of those who have been discriminated against by investigating complaints of unlawful discriminatory practices in housing, employment and public accommodations in the city and enforcing the city’s anti-discrimination ordinances.

Rollins-Fitch said the commission currently has a small caseload, but she’s seen an uptick in complaints being lodged from other York County municipalities. The commission is only authorized to investigate and adjudicate complaints in the city, so the group must refer all other complaints to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, she said.