Would beginning at my local community college be the best place for me?

Absolutely!  You can cut down on alot of your schooling costs by taking your general education courses first from your local community college. You should setup an appointment with one of the advisors who will help guide you towards taking the steps needed to get started and will also help you with financial aid, tuition costs, etc.

You must be certain that any courses you take will transfer to a 4 year institution once you crossover to your targeted studies.