Great news! There’s more progress in the push to serve North County’s vulnerable populations.
This week, the new Carlsbad Service Center will celebrate its official opening. The 2,500 square foot building, which was secured with support from the Carlsbad City Council and a $600,000 federal grant, is a substantial improvement from the mobile trailer that was previously used for the center. The facility will be operated by Interfaith Community Services, North County’s largest social services agency.
I asked my friends at Interfaith to update me on the details of this facility after I learned about it last fall. Compared to the old trailer, the new center will provide additional capacity to meet more client needs, such as storage, social and employment services. Federal funding fully covered the purchase of the building, as well as the improvements Interfaith made to the facility, including a computer lab, open office spaces, meeting rooms and a refrigerator-freezer to support healthy food distributions. Operating hours will also be extended to serve a greater number of clients.
Available services include computer lab access, emergency food supplies, interview apparel, case management, job connections, and access to social services. I’m told that all clients at the Carlsbad Service Center will also have access to Interfaith’s network of programs across North County, as well as referrals to their partner organizations.
Kudos to the Carlsbad City Council and Interfaith on partnering together to build the new Service Center.
As our community continues to grow, the importance of meeting human needs grows too. I’ve previously written in this column about the growing suburban poverty and homeless population in North County. Every city in our part of the region has to do their part, particularly when it comes to helping people help themselves.
In a press release, Interfaith states that the new Carlsbad Service Center will do just that.
“We’ve had a presence in coastal North San Diego County for many years, and we’re excited to further expand our reach and impact in Carlsbad with the support of the City,” remarked Greg Anglea, Executive Director of Interfaith Community Services. “Thanks to their generosity, we will be able to help more individuals than ever return to the workforce and continue on their path to self-sufficiency.”
How do we create positive change as a community to serve others in need? Public-private partnerships and funding are critical, particularly in a resource-strapped area like San Diego County. So too is raising public awareness to unmet needs and opportunities to serve others in big and small ways.
Perhaps this is a good time to reach out and volunteer in the community? A few hours of community service in April would be well received.
Vince Vasquez is an economist based in Torrey Pines. He is a Carlsbad resident.