Brighton Greens, new home for Nevada County social services, opens Monday
It’s what happens inside Brighton Greens, not the new building itself, that matters to Dennis Fruzza.
The chairman of the Nevada County All-Veterans Stand Down likes what he sees so far at the county’s new one-stop shop for social services. Closer handicapped parking and privacy for veterans are amenities near the top of his list.
Fruzza notes, however, that training people to visit the new Veterans Service Office at 988 McCourtney Road instead of the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building will take time.
“I think, overall, it’s going to be a great facility for our veterans,” Fruzza said.
Brighton Greens officially opens its doors Monday. It will house eight different departments in the 20,000-square-foot space. About 90 employees will work under one roof.
Locating services like CalWORKs, WIC and the county’s One Stop Career Center in one building is key, said Mike Dent, the county’s social services director.
“There are four leased spaces we’re getting out of,” he said.
The departments will move into Brighton Greens in waves. CalWORKs and the One Stop Career Center open Monday, followed Feb. 16 by the Veterans Services Office and Woman, Infant and Children facility.
They’ll be followed by Child Protective Services on Feb. 19 and Children’s Behavioral Health on Feb. 25.
Child Support Services and the Continuing Eligibility Unit are last, opening March 3.
Dent expects efficiency to grow at the new facility. For example, a child could see a therapist in one part of the building as the parent searches for a job in another. Or that parent could discover he or she is eligible for food stamps while speaking with a WIC employee.
“That’s where we can call a time-out and get an eligibility worker up here,” Dent said.
All departments will have the same amount or more of work space in Brighton Greens. They’ll also have access to a kitchen and common meeting areas.
Dent said that WIC currently has no kitchen for its healthy eating classes. Now it will.
It cost $700,000 to remodel Brighton Greens, an amount Dent said the county will pay off in five years.
What’s difficult to put a cost on is the convenience officials like Dent expect Brighton Greens will provide.
“I think it’s really good,” Fruzza said. “It should work out.”
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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