Hagerstown’s Mediation First Program Lets Community Continue Existing Services
The Mediation First Program has released information about how the community will be able to continue using the services once the program has been taken over in the coming days. The program was cancelled by the Community Action Council earlier this year, but following the cancellation, Tekesha Martinez and Tereance Moore took over the program at the beginning of July. The decision to cancel the program was made because of lack of funding.
Mediation first was and will continue to be one of 15 mediator centers in the state of Maryland. It is supported by the Mediation First location out of Takoma Park.
The program brings people together “where they are” and offers them mediation services that are overseen by a trained and registered staff.
According to Martinez, “We meet people where they are at and its high-quality mediation and our mediators are trained and are registered with the Maryland mediators.”
The program is free and will now run as a non-profit.
Moore elaborated on the mission and the goals of the program, stating “Mediation starts here in our county, but it also spreads across our state and across our country. I think the mediation that goes on right here in Hagerstown, Maryland or Washington County, is the same kind of mediation that will help in Washington, D.C. or California or anywhere across the country.”
She acknowledged how difficult it can be to communicate when it seems like everyone is speaking a different language based on their past experiences. Having a mediation program that brings in a neutral third-party to translate those differences and explore potential resolutions make solving problems easier.