Story by: JUDITH PRIEVE
ANTIOCH — Though it had its soft opening earlier this summer, the East County Family Justice Center officially cut the ribbon to open its doors on Friday.
An array of dignitaries, including local leaders, nonprofit directors and volunteers toured the new 3,300-square-foot facility at 3501 Lone Tree Way during the Friday afternoon festivities.
Promoted as a one-stop center for people affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse and human trafficking, the center aims to help people in crisis access a broad spectrum of 20 services at one location. Some of the services include therapy, legal and law enforcement help, ombudsmen, immigration services, certified nursing assistant training and more.
Having a single location allows agencies to serve and advocate for clients quickly and directly, reducing the trauma associated with multiple interviews or assessments, especially for children, according to Family Justice Center officials. The nonprofit also has centers in Concord and Richmond.
Brentwood City Councilwoman Karen Rarey on Friday applauded the center “for beginning the healing process for families of abuse and human trafficking.”
“Brentwood welcomes the Family Justice Center to East County and we look forward to working with and collaborating with our fellow government agencies and nonprofits to provide the finest programs for those in need,” she said.
Oakley Mayor Claire Alaura, meanwhile, pointed to Contra Costa County District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis for leading the charge to get the center located in East County. Long a priority of Burgis, she is a board member of the Family Justice Center and early on met with the mayors, local police and others to garner support.
Antioch Mayor Sean Wright predicted many more will utilize the many services the Family Justice Center has to offer now that it has a center in Antioch.
“This is about access and it truly is… When you see the numbers of how many from East Contra Costa are obtaining services in Central and West County, it’s about access. What would those numbers be if we had a center here? We’re going to find out — and the truth is those numbers are going to go up because people in our community now have access.”
For more on the Family Justice Center, go to cocofamilyjustice.org or call 925-521-6366.
Posted on September 28, 2019 at 12:08 pm