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Ceres Partner grows into bigger space
Office moves from downtown to 1317 Grandview Ave.
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Chamber and city leaders joined children and parents and leaders of the Ceres Partnership on Thursday evening in celebrating the new location of the center. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Ceres Partnership, a one-stop-shop for family resources, showed off its new digs at 1317 Grandview during a Thursday evening ribbon cutting event hosted by the Ceres Chamber.

The new facility nearly doubles the space of its former offices on Fourth Street.

Program Coordinator Jennifer Rangel said the move last September gave the operation more breathing room, from 3,200 square feet to 5,500.

"We're a family resource center, very similar to a community center but everything is geared towards families," said Rangel. "So if you need help enrolling in health insurance, Medi-Cal services, counseling services, we offer that. We also have nutrition ed classes as well as school readiness classes."

While services are provided to all Ceres families -there are no income guidelines - most of the services are provide to low-income families.

"Maybe you want a place to go that's safe to mingle with other families and gain that social connection with other moms, other dads."

The center on occasion gives out Salvation Army supplied food boxes to Ceres residents.

Clinicians are available to assess problems within the family, such as depression, anger, lack of motivation or children with behavioral problems at school or home.

"Depending on what their need they can meet here or meet with them at the school. If they do a session with the entire family they often meet here in the family room."

When it was first created the Ceres Partnership went by the name of Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children. Rangel said the agency dropped the "for Healthy Children" for several reasons.

"A lot of times people confused us with a clinic and they thought it was only for children," said Rangel. "We're here to strengthen the entire family and we're here to partner with the community to help strengthen those families."

Besides, she said, most people shortened it and called it the Ceres Partnership.

The Ceres Partnership started out as its own collaborative but was later taken under the wings of the Center for Human Services for about 12 years.

Services are free to families and paid for by the First Five Commission and through contracts with Stanislaus County Behavioral Health Services and the county Health Services Agency.

The center is open 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The new location once housed the Grandview Head Start but fell into a dilapidated state and was a target for drug-addicts and squatters. Business partners Shane Parson and Chris Vierra rehabilitated the center and are the landlord for the Ceres Partnership. Parson also sits on the group's Champions Board which meets monthly to talk the needs of the center. Just prior to the ribbon cutting, a work crew from the Ceres Home Depot store delivered and installed new bark around the playground equipment as well as installed an irrigation system.