The Kids’ Factory had a busy year as the Dunsmuir Resource Center offered services to over 1,000 individuals in 2009.
With the development of new programs and the use of new funding sources, “This was a year of growth for us,” said executive director Emily Warn.
The most recent successful endeavor was the Kids’ Factory’s participation in providing Christmas toys as well as turkey and ham holiday meals to more than 70 families and seniors in Dunsmuir.
The Kids’ Factory worked in collaboration with the First Baptist Church, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Rotary Club, Dunsmuir Elementary School, Dunsmuir High School, Girl Scouts, and the Eagles Club to help needy Dunsmuir residents enjoy a special holiday season. This partnership came together just three weeks before Christmas and the groups’ goals were smoothly accomplished.
Among the expanded services at the Kids’ Factory is the new drop-in center, part of the Mental Health Services Act. The drop-in center serves the south county and is open to the public on Mondays at noon to provide a free soup luncheon.
In addition, the MHSA program participants will soon be presented with the opportunity to participate in a new anger management class.
The newest program, offered at Kids’ Factory as well as all the family resource centers in the county, is the In Home Support Services training program. The new program is meant to serve community members who aspire to become IHHS workers. The training comes with application and employment support.
Since October, Kids’ Factory staff has helped 11 local individuals become IHSS workers.
Another successful end-of-the-year activity was the fuel and utility assistance program for seniors. The Kids’ Factory served 24 seniors during the last few cold months.
The Kids’ Factory will also hold a seven-week parenting class beginning in February which will be facilitated by Donna Bringenberg. The class will be held in the evenings, and dinner and childcare will be provided. Pre-registration is requested.
In addition to the new services, the Kids’ Factory also maintains a series of ongoing services and programs. Among them are  resource and referral services, free fax and copy services, a child play group on Tuesdays, Family Game Night on the last Wednesday of every month, a free computer lab available to the public during business hours, and an Arts and Crafts program on Saturdays, facilitated by local artist Debbie Blackwell.
The Kids’ Factory also hosts a women-only AA group on Tuesdays at noon, with free childcare provided.
On Friday nights, an open Narcotics Anonymous group meeting is held from 7 to 8 p.m.
Other ongoing services include car seat and helmet giveaways and an open-door policy for families to stop by and play.
“What we try to be is an extended family to provide strong wraparound services to families to help them grow stronger and move forward,” said Warn.
The Kids’ Factory is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m.