A letter to the Community
From Cookie Powell, Dixon Family Services
707 678-0442, firstname.lastname@example.org
CASE MANAGEMENT STAFF
This is a busy time of year at Dixon Family Services and we are happy to announce recent additions to our staff that will help meet the increased needs of struggling families in our community. The DFS Case Management Team now includes Jose Martinez, Flor Echeverria, Monique Cuevas and Yanira Osuna.
Monique Cuevas and her family recently moved to Dixon from Santa Cruz. Monique is a wife and mother of 3. So far she likes Dixon and is feeling more at home each day as she becomes more familiar with the area. Monique started working as a bilingual case manager at DFS in early September. “I chose Dixon for my family because of the lower crime and homeless rates” she has shared with us that in Santa Cruz those two issues are huge. “We are also happy with the opportunity that our children get to attend Dixon Montessori Charter School.” She enjoys being able to help out our community that is in need.
Francisca Yanira Osuna, or Yani, as we call her, is a native of Dixon. She also began working as a DFS case manager in early September. Yani recently finished her college education with double majors in Psychology and Spanish at Sonoma State University and is happy to be back in Dixon and in a position to help people at Dixon Family Services. Yani cites her childhood experience growing up at the Dixon Migrant Center as a great perspective of what community life of migrant families is about. “I have first-hand knowledge of how programs can be so helpful for families. I am grateful to be in a position to give back to a community that has done so much for me and my family.”
Jose Martinez has been with us since June 2015 and he has recently assumed a leadership role in the Case Management Department. Responsible for client data bases and reports, he also continues to see case management clients. With his wealth of knowledge and experience he has been very encouraging and supportive of the other three case managers. Jose used to live in Vacaville but now lives in Sacramento, was recently married and became a step-father. It is impressive but not surprising that Jose commutes four days a week to continue his career in helping people at Dixon Family Services.
Flor Echeverria came to Dixon Family Services as a human services intern from Solano Community College in February 2016. She also is a native of Dixon. I’ll never forget that on her first day we were very short staffed so she bravely agreed to take a seat at reception and began answering the phones and greeting clients who walked in. Doing that without any prior experience and doing it so well impressed me so much that before the day was over I asked her if she would like to become a paid employee of DFS. Flor has been a faithful and committed employee at DFS as receptionist, clerical support and case manager since that day. Flor is close to achieving her Associates Degree in Human Services and already considering colleges to achieve her Master’s.
The four case managers have attended multiple trainings and meetings about financial counseling, case management, parenting skills, nurturing fathers and others to build their skills to better help the people we serve. We have also been meeting as a team weekly. Their genuine interest in helping people has created a cohesiveness I have not seen at DFS in some years. This is a very capable and energetic group of young social workers who are eager to serve all people who come to us, in whatever capacity is needed.
We encourage those who are low income and struggling to call Dixon Family Services for an appointment with one of our qualified and motivational staff members. An assessment can help both client and case manager determine what should be some first steps to take, and what can be longer-range goals.
DIXON FAMILY SERVICES HOLIDAY FOOD PROGRAM SIGN-UPS
Notices have gone out to Dixon schools about our December Holiday Food Program and we ask that you help us spread the word. Appointments can be scheduled with DFS case managers for assessment on December 1, 6, 7 and 8 at Dixon Family Services, 155 North Second Street. Low-income families are encouraged to call 678-0442 to get more details and choose an appointment time. We also have flyers in our front lobby in both English and Spanish.
PROGRAMS AND FUNDING
Contracted Case Management programs at DFS currently include the FRC 0-5, funded by First 5 Solano; FRC 6-18, funded by Solano County Health & Social Services; and the Strengthening Fathers Program, funded by a Federal grant co-written by all seven of Solano County’s Family Resource Centers and the Children’s Network. All three programs have specific and similar goals for working with families with children including basic needs supportive services like rental and utilities assistance, food, and application to government benefits such as health care, food stamps, CalWORKs, Section 8 and others. Other key components to these programs are Parenting Education and Financial Counseling.
In addition to the case management programs Dixon Family Services also offers mental health, substance abuse, and other supportive services to families, children, teens, seniors, couples, singles, veterans and anyone else who asks. This is possible largely thanks to grants we receive from Kaiser Permanente and Genentech to support our mental health continuum of care and safety net programs.
Very important financial and tangible supports also come from local service organizations, the VFW, scouts, churches, schools, businesses and individuals who partner with us in our mission to improve lives. Those who shop, donate or volunteer at the DFS Thrift Store are also vital to the sustainability of our non-profit organization. Dixon Family Services could not do all that we do without this diversity of funds and community volunteerism. From a $10 donation, to filling a volunteer time slot at the DFS Thrift Store, to a $20,000 grant – all is very much appreciated and put to good use.
Our one-stop-shop of social services has been changing lives in Dixon and the surrounding rural areas since 1984. Thousands of people are better off and many have achieved goals such as sobriety, positive parenting skills, social and emotional wellness, self-esteem, escape from domestic violence, employment, financial stability and family cohesiveness.
Thank you to everyone who supports our efforts in any way and for those who wish to know how they can help or become a partner can call me or email me anytime.
Sincerely, Cookie Powell