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Independent Voice

Dixon Family Services Hits Half Time

Oct 13, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Cookie Powell, Director

DIXON, CA (MPG) - Dixon Family Services was established in January 1984, and we will celebrate 40 years in 2024. But, before that, in 2023 we will celebrate another milestone. In 1998 DFS and the City of Dixon entered into a lease agreement for the building we are currently in. It’s hard to believe it will soon be 25 years!

Here is the History.

The non-profit, Dixon Family Services (DFS), did not always live in the city-owned building at 155 North Second Street. The building was previously occupied for many years by the Dixon Police Department, City Hall and Dixon Municipal Courtroom, not at different times, but all rolled into one big happy City of Dixon 'family.' 

After building a new City Hall and a new Police Department, the building sat empty for some years until a time in the mid-90s that DFS needed a new home. So, The City let DFS move in. This happened before I started at DFS so I don’t know if any rent was paid or how much. I began working at DFS in February 1995 and it was soon after that some major changes would happen.

Unfortunately, due to the age of the building and having been neglected, things started going wrong, including many leaks in the roof, AC/Heat, plumbing, lighting, cracks in floors and more. A short version of a long review done by inspectors and the Dixon Fire Department listed issues of a failing heat and air system, a very leaky roof, mold, mildew, and asbestos. All could cause serious health and safety issues for staff and clients. The report was enough to call for condemnation of the building.

After considering the costs of all work needed to restore the building to be safe to inhabit, City leadership was leaning toward tearing down the old cinder block building and making the adjacent City parking lot that much larger.

PJ Davis, our Executive Director at the time, began searching for grants that could help in a large restoration project of 155 North Second, or to build a new home at a new location for DFS. 

The California Endowment came for a site visit and agreed with PJ that the building was centrally located and accessible for the clients we serve, so they agreed to a grant amount of $300,000. And an additional request was awarded from the Cowell Foundation for $60,000.

An agreement was made between the grantors, the City of Dixon, and Dixon Family Services to hire a construction company to take the building down to the studs and cinder block walls, and “rebuild” it from within. When completed it was a new, safe, healthy and ADA approved office building for our organization to continue to provide human services as a Family Resource Center for all residents of Dixon and our surrounding rural 95620. A resolution was passed by all City Council members on July 15, 1998, to execute a 50-year lease agreement for tenants Dixon Family Services.

Since then, we have been providing a variety of service programs to suit the changing needs of our community. Our services are free to those who need them. We pay all utilities, insurance, plumbing, heat/AC, landscaping, and all other maintenance costs of the building. There have been no costs to the City of Dixon or taxpayers. Property taxes and other taxes have also been paid for by DFS throughout the years.

The result of this story is a win-win for Dixon. We look forward to another 25 years! For more information, call (707) 678-0442.

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