The moment is here — family center opens doors

The folks over at the Northshore Family Center must be breathing a collective sigh of relief.

The folks over at the Northshore Family Center must be breathing a collective sigh of relief.

This moment had most likely been embedded in their minds for a long time.

When would they move into their new quarters at 18414 103rd Ave. N.E. in Bothell?

Well, they — finally — held their open house and community celebration last Wednesday to a full house of local residents, children, staff members, Bothell Mayor Mark Lamb and King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson. (See pictures on page 4.)

I unfortunately missed Lamb and Ferguson’s appearances, but I strolled up the street from the Reporter office and checked the place out and met with Jane Hinton (Family Support director), Beratta Gomillion (Center for Human Services executive director) and Dolores Reyes (Northshore Family Center program manager).

They were the rock stars of the day, and were constantly surrounded by people — not asking for autographs, but giving them thanks for their efforts of helping open the new spot.

Hinton was blown away by the three-floor building’s transformation.

“You’ve got to see the children’s floor,” she said. “People didn’t think we could do it — it was really dirty down there.”

Now, the bottom floor is brightly colored in reds, greens, yellows and blues and features bean bags, a couch and everything from books to a painting corner to toys and more. Parents will have a hard time getting their kids to leave, and from the looks of things last week, the workers will have just as much fun down there as the young ones.

“We’re lucky to have this place,” Reyes said. “We were lucky to have Rickett’s (the old building), but it was more spread out.

“Here, it’s more close, more homey. When you walk in the front door, we want you to feel like you’re at home.”

Well put, Dolores.

And she’s not only talking about the well-coiffed building and relaxed atmosphere, but how anyone is welcome to walk through the doors and chat up one of the staff members or visitors.

There’s something for everyone: adult workshops and classes, family events, support groups and activities, computer use/Internet access and more.

Even more important, there’s an on-site bilingual staff. On the children’s floor, there is a sign that reads: primeros pasos, or first steps, that shows pictures of children wearing costumes and having a blast.

It’s clear that, in any language, the Northshore Family Center employees are going to make sure people are going to feel welcome in their new space.

More in Opinion

KCLS forges partnerships for broader public benefit

Partnerships make it possible for KCLS to serve a broader range of people, while stretching tax dollars.

The importance of being counted | Windows and Mirrors

The 2020 Census is coming and that can greatly affect everything from government representation and federal funding.

This year’s biggest election for Democrats isn’t on the ballot

Four women are vying to become the next House speaker. The Democratic caucus will decide in July.

Proud to be themselves | Windows and Mirrors

June is Pride month and PFLAG Bellevue Eastside has been supporting the local LGBTQ+ community since 1996.

From Eastside to East Coast | Reporter’s Notebook

Reporter Kailan Manandic bids farewell to the Eastside for new adventures in Boston.

Alternative to Sammamish River Trail | Letter

The proposed King County improvements to the Sammamish River Trail should be… Continue reading

In the hands of voters | Letter

Every voter in the state of Washington should be furious with the… Continue reading

A humanitarian crisis | Letter

Hundreds killed or injured. Many raped. Bodies found in the Nile. Sudan… Continue reading

Governor’s watch: timing is everything

Inslee, possible candidates eye 2020 race

Closing the margins | Windows and Mirrors

How a program at Mercer Island High School is helping students affect social change.

Summertime opportunities to read, learn and grow

A monthly column about King County libraries.

Redirecting funds | Letter

There has been a recent influx of publicity about mental health treatment… Continue reading