The Center at McKineyville: A New Model for Humboldt County

By: Jorlinis Centeno, CA DCSS

The Department of Child Support Services North Coast (DCSS North Coast) is enthusiastic to be part of an innovative change in the delivery of services in their neighborhood – The Center at McKinleyville.

The Center at McKinleyville is an integrated services project, in which family resources in Humboldt County are collected under one roof, creating a one-stop shop where parents, caregivers and others in need of services can find a wealth of help from a coalition of government and non-profit agencies.

Ground has been broken on a 13,000 square foot building in which representatives from the McKinleyville Family Resource Center, the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, Open Door Community Health Centers, the North Coast Regional Department of Child Support, Trinidad Rancheria Tribal Social Services, Humboldt State University’s Department of Social Work, and United Health Services will locate staff to work together, offering services in a truly integrated fashion that extends far beyond simple referrals. Project decisions are made by a “partnership team” from all the agencies that receives input from local government officials, program participants, community stakeholders, and other partner agencies like schools and First Five Humboldt County.

North Coast Regional Department of Child Support Services (North Coast DCSS) Director Lisa Dugan feels that one of the benefits of the joint project will be the opportunity for North Coast DCSS staff to inform other agencies about child support services, and to learn how other agencies’ services dovetail with child support programs. “We feel that child support suffers an identity crisis, and we hope that by being a part of this model, it will help us to educate the community on what we can do for them, and at the same time we can better understand and assist families in need.”
McKinleyville Family Resource Center Executive Director Hillarie Beyer sees an ideal learning environment. “It is our hope to create a work environment where people can view each other as fully human, learning is expected, innovation can occur and we can aim for our vision of a vibrant community where people are healthy and connected,” she said.