2011-09-15 / Family

County Human Services Agency opens office in Thousand Oaks

Residents will have improved access to government programs

The County of Ventura Human Services Agency hosted a ribbon-cutting yesterday to celebrate the opening of the agency’s new facility in the Community Conscience Under One Roof center at 80 E. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks.

The building is already home to nearly a dozen nonprofit organizations, including Conejo Free Clinic, Interface Children and Family Services, Hospice of the Conejo Valley, Senior Concerns and Youth Employment Services.

The Human Services Agency will occupy the 6,800-squarefoot space recently vacated by the Social Security Administration.

The new facility offers residents opportunities to apply for CalFresh, Medi- Cal and CalWORKs, as well as schedule appointments with child welfare staff. Yesterday’s ceremony was attended by Supervisor Linda Parks, Human Services Agency director Barry

Zimmerman, Community Conscience president Dee Crawford and staff from all of the agencies who are located in the Under One Roof center.

Parks, who spearheaded the project to co-locate all of the organizations, said she is pleased to see the facility open.

“It’s a dream come true to see the County of Ventura becoming a partner with the fine nonprofit agencies in the Under One Roof collaborative,” said Parks, who represents Thousand Oaks on the county board of supervisors.

“I’m delighted we can assist its viability through lease revenue, and I know many residents who are suffering will benefit from this local access to county services.”

The agency’s only other presence in Thousand Oaks is a 1,000- square- foot satellite office at 233 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd.

The charities at Under One Roof were at risk of losing their ability to stay rent-free after the Social Security Administration— the building’s main tenant— decided to relocate in 2009.

But a three-year lease deal with the county prevented that from happening.

“I don’t know what we would do if the county wasn’t moving in,” Crawford told the Acorn in an October 2010 interview. “This was a major scare for us because Social Security paid the rent that provided enough for us to keep the building going.”

Community Conscience is still waiting to see who will replace Catholic Charities.

The nonprofit closed its office at Under One Roof last year.

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