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Norcross family center celebrates 10 years

NORCROSS - For a decade, the Norcross Human Services Center has been a haven for entire families.

It's where kids begin their schooling in prekindergarten classes, adults learn about computers and seniors relax in their retirement.

The center on Georgia Belle Court, which serves 28,000 people a month through six agencies and other classes, celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier this month.

"It's a one-stop center for the community," center coordinator Ingrid Hervey said. "They could come in for the whole family."

The agencies include a public health clinic, Four Corners primary care, mental health services, HeadStart, senior services and the county's busiest tag office.

"I'm proud to celebrate the 10 years our branch tag office has been located in the Norcross Human Services Center," Tax Commissioner Katherine Sherrington said. "A lot has changed since we moved from the Sunrise Square shopping center on Indian Trail, about a mile and a half from here."

Sherrington's Norcross Tag Office has nearly doubled its annual customers since the center opened in 1998, from nearly 100,000 customers that year to more than 205,000 customers in 2007. The Tag Office's customers account for about 70 percent of all of the people who go to the Norcross Human Services Center facility for service.

Hervey said the center's clientele isn't just diverse in age but also in cultures.

The center offers computers classes in Korean and Spanish as well as English, and she said the popular English classes quickly fill up with registrants who are Korean, Chinese, Russian or come from Latin American countries.

Other special programs offered at the center include a program to give backpacks filled with school supplies for children when the school year begins and an annual Toys for Tots toy drive during the Christmas season.