Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vallejo's new quarters for county services draw dedication crowd

Vallejo's new quarters for county services draw dedication crowd

By Sarah Rohrs/

Posted: 01/13/2010 01:00:17 AM PST

At a time when more people need social services to get by, the county has completed a new Vallejo building to provide mental health, child welfare and other services.

The new Solano County Health and Social Services building at 365 Tuolumne St. is open for business, and nearly 100 officials were on hand for Tuesday's dedication.

"These are challenging times and it's important for the public (agencies) to join together so the public does not suffer from lack of services," Mayor Osby Davis said at the ribbon-cutting event.

The city of Vallejo was a key player in completing the project, several county administrators said.

The facility expands the ability of the county's Health and Social Services Department to help needy children, adults and families in the Vallejo-Benicia area, officials said.

The $38 million, three-story building is adjacent to the existing county social services building behind the Solano County Justice Center in the 300 block of Tuolumne Street.

Health and Social Services Executive Director Patrick Duterte said the building says to needy people "you matter, and that says a lot to people here in Solano County."

The building allows the county to provide services in one location rather than requiring people to seek services in several settings, Duterte said.

Services offered in the new setting include the following -- primary care, mental health, public health, substance abuse, child welfare, employment, Medi-Cal, food stamps and older & disabled adult services.

In the declining economy, demand for health and social services has increased 10 percent, according to the county

The bulk of the funding to pay for the new building stems from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, a 1998 pact involving the nation's four largest tobacco companies.

Contact staff writer Sarah Rohrs at srohrs@timesheraldonline.com or (707) 553-6832.