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For Immediate Release

County Economic Assistance to Close In-person Client Services at Mendocino Avenue Office

Lobby services still offered at Santa Rosa and Petaluma offices

Santa Rosa, CA  –  June 11, 2019  –  Over the next few months, the Sonoma County Human Services Department Economic Assistance Division will consolidate all in-person client services at its main office at 2550 Paulin Drive, Santa Rosa, and the Human Services Department’s South County Center, 5350 Old Redwood Highway, North, Suite 100, Petaluma.

The third office, at 520 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, will close for in-person Medi-Cal, CalFresh and General Assistance client services starting Monday, September 23, 2019.

“Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, Economic Assistance offices nationwide are seeing thousands more newly eligible Medi-Cal health care clients,” says Economic Assistance Division Director Felisa Pinson. “To better serve the increasing number of clients, all face-to-face services will be offered at our two other current office locations in September. Both those offices offer more comprehensive support and services to meet clients’ needs.” Today, one-fourth of the Sonoma County population (108,000 individuals) receives Medi-Cal. In 2011, that number was 55,000.

Each month until the September closure, open hours at the Mendocino office will be reduced. Currently open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., the Monday – Friday office hours will change on:

  • June 24, 2019  to 10 a.m. –4 p.m.,
  • July 22, 2019  to noon–4 p.m.,
  • August 26, 2019  to 2–4 p.m. and
  • September 23, 2019 when in-person services will permanently close.

Drivers will find free parking at both the Paulin office and the South County Center. The Paulin location is two miles north of the 520 Mendocino Avenue location. The nearby bus stop at Administration Drive and Paulin Drive is serviced by several Sonoma County Transit routes, including 20, 30, 30X, 44, 44X, 48, 48X, 54, 57 and 60X. The South County Center is 14 miles south by the 101 Freeway, about two blocks from Petaluma Transit’s bus stop at North McDowell Blvd. and Old Redwood Hwy.

Some 520 Mendocino staff will move to the Paulin building, though many will remain to perform administrative and call center duties.

“Focusing our in-person services in two offices allows us to increase staff coverage of call center phone lines and reduce clients’ wait times,” says Pinson. “Another benefit to clients is that they’ll have the opportunity to talk with our social workers at the other offices and get additional support.” Medi-Cal and CalFresh support is available at both offices, while General Assistance clients will be seen at the Paulin office only.

At 520 Mendocino, eligibility specialists can process applications for specific programs, yet many Economic Assistance clients are eligible for other government or community programs. Social workers can evaluate clients’ overall needs and suggest additional helpful government and community services and programs that would improve clients’ lives, Pinson says.

For those who don’t need in-person services, both new and ongoing CalFresh and Medi-Cal clients can continue to apply online, using home or public computers or mobile devices. They can access online eligibility and benefit information in English or Spanish 24/7 at MyBenefitsCalWin.org.  

The Economic Assistance Division is part of the Sonoma County Human Services Department. Its programs support low-income individuals and families with children, disabled or unemployed persons, children in foster homes and former foster youth. Its benefit programs include:

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