Klamath Falls, Ore. — The new Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) Klamath Falls trauma-informed building is holding an opening ceremony Thursday, May 12 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the new building. Speakers include: Tribal Chairman, Klamath Tribal Council Don C. Gentry; Klamath County Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris and Klamath Falls Mayor Carol Westfall. Speakers from ODHS include Director Fariborz Pakseresht and Chief Administrative Officer Don Erickson. Also attending is Chief of Staff Randy Blackburn.
This new building at 355 Timbermill Drive in TimberMill Shores, near Lake Ewauna, houses the Aging and People with Disabilities, Child Welfare, Self-Sufficiency and Vocational Rehabilitation programs, as well as several community partners such as the Klamath Tribes, Klamath County Developmental Disability Services, Lutheran Community Services, Transformation Wellness and Klamath Basin Behavioral Health.
The building allows for the consolidation of all these programs making it easier for people needing services to get them all in one place. This also means people needing medical, food, cash, long-term care services and supports and child care assistance are helped all in one place. More than 10,000 people in Klamath County receive benefits from ODHS.
Tribal Chairman Gentry wrote this about the opening of this new building and the Tribe’s relationship with ODHS:
“I am very encouraged by the positive relationship the Klamath Tribes has developed with the Oregon Department of Human Services during my tenure as Chairman of the Klamath Tribes the last nine years. The successes we have achieved in our cooperative work together has significantly benefitted our Tribal children and families. This is evidenced by the significant reduction in the number of Klamath Tribal children in the system. I credit this achievement to the positive leadership of ODHS Director, Fariborz Pakseresht and Klamath Tribes Administration General Manager, George Lopez, the dedication and excellent work of the Klamath Tribes Social Service Department and ODHS staff, and ongoing support of the previous and current Klamath Tribes Tribal Councils.”
Klamath County Commission Chairwoman Minty Morris said, “Klamath cares deeply for our kids, families and the vibrancy of our communities. I hope we can all continue working together to support healthy families and a healthy economy. This grand opening can be a new chapter in our efforts.”
Klamath Falls Mayor Westfall said, “On behalf of the City of Klamath Falls I would like to express that we are thrilled to see this beautiful building and economic development within the TimberMill Shores area come to fruition. The new Oregon Department of Human Services building will aid in being a significant boost within our community and it also brings forth successful efforts in turning a former brownfield lumber mill site into a vibrant economic driver and works as an extension of Downtown Klamath Falls. We congratulate all who have had a hand in this project’s successful conclusion and welcome the essential services that will be provided for the citizens of the Klamath Basin.”
The location was designed with a trauma-informed lens. The entire building, furnishings, colors, local artwork, including art from the Klamath Tribes, creates a trauma-informed design. This means it will be a physical environment that promotes a sense of safety and calm for our children and families, visitors and our staff.