HomeLocal NewsSacramento's Community Health Fair: A beacon of support for homeless residents

Sacramento’s Community Health Fair: A beacon of support for homeless residents

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Sacramento, California – On Friday, April 26, First Step Communities, a county partner and homeless service provider, hosted its 2nd Community Health Fair, drawing over 250 attendees and 54 community vendors. The River District and Willow Clinic joined in organizing the event, which delivered a range of essential services to hundreds of individuals.

At the fair, providers connected people with resources like animal care, medical and dental treatment, haircuts, fresh food, benefit assistance, mental health evaluations, showers, vaccinations, substance abuse programs, and domestic violence support. Several Sacramento County departments took part as well, providing direct assistance to their clients and sharing critical information about accessing essential county services.

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Public Health Division

The Sexual Health Promotion Unit offered testing for HIV, along with education and safety supplies to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections like HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis C. Attendees could leave with informative resources and condoms. The Public Health Immunization Assistance Program also had a COVID-19 strike team on-site, offering COVID-19 and influenza vaccines to both adults and children. Even kids as young as six months could get vaccinated at the fair.

Wellness Without Walls Mobile Medicine Van: This service brings essential healthcare directly to people, offering prescription refills, quick STD tests, minor wound treatment, basic physical exams, and vital checks like blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring.

On Friday, April 26, First Step Communities, a Sacramento County partner and homeless service provider, hosted its 2nd Community Health Fair, drawing over 250 attendees and 54 community vendors
Courtesy of Sacramento County

Division of Behavioral Health​ ​

Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART): The HEART team offers immediate mental health assessments, helping connect individuals to more comprehensive behavioral health resources. Their staff includes medical professionals and peer specialists who share personal experiences to better relate to clients.

Substance Use Prevention and Treatment: The team distributes free Narcan to attendees, providing a critical tool for preventing opioid overdoses. Narcan can be safely administered by anyone while waiting for emergency responders. They also share a comprehensive list of treatment resources available throughout the county.

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Probation Department​ ​

Probation Officers: They provide a convenient checkpoint for clients to check in with their probation officers. The team also educates the community about the probation system, their work, and offers guidance on how individuals can successfully navigate the justice system.

Department of Human Assistance (DHA)​

DHA provided essential information on benefit assistance and eligibility, covering programs like cash assistance, food benefits, and general aid. Residents can easily check their eligibility online or at a DHA field office. Additionally, the agency is hiring for various entry-level roles, sharing job flyers with job seekers.

Read also: Sacramento DA criticizes parole board’s decision to release dangerous offender

Addressing the complex needs of the county’s unhoused residents demands cooperation across multiple agencies. The Community Health Fair exemplifies this by bringing critical resources together in an easily accessible manner for those who need them most. It also provides an opportunity for service providers to connect and strengthen their collaborative efforts to make a lasting impact on homelessness.

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