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Elk Grove Citizen

Community Health Fair Provides Critical Resources

May 07, 2024 03:42PM ● By Sacramento County News Release
Representatives from Sacramento County attended the event. Photo courtesy of Sacramento County

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - County partner and homeless service provider, First Step Communities held its 2nd Community Health Fair on Friday, April 26. The fair was a huge success with more than 250 attendees, 54 community vendors and hundreds of services provided. The River District and the Willow Clinic were also partners in presenting the Health Fair.

The fair included service providers connecting attendees to animal care, medical care, dental care, haircuts, fresh food, benefit assistance, mental health screenings, showers, vaccinations, substance abuse treatment, domestic violence resources and more.

Several Sacramento County departments participated in the fair, connecting directly with their clients and potential clients, providing much needed education and access to critical County services.

Public Health Division

Sexual Health Promotion Unit: The sexual health promotion unit provides testing for HIV and education and safety supplies to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis C. Attendees could leave with educational materials and condoms.

Immunization Assistance Program:​ The Public Health COVID-19 strike team provides vaccinations to both adults and children for COVID-19 and influenza. Children as young as six months old can be vaccinated by the strike team.

Wellness Without Walls Mobile Medicine Van: provides easy, acce​ssible care such as refilling prescriptions, rapid STD testing, minor wound care, basic physical exams, and vital statistic checks such as blood pressure and glucose levels. 

Division of Behavioral Health​ ​

Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART): HEART staff was offering on the spot mental health assessments to create linkages to more in-depth behavioral health resources. HEART has both medical clinicians and peer specialists that have relatable lived experience to share with clients.

Substance Use Prevention and Treatment: The alcohol and drug team handed out free Narcan to attendees to help prevent the dangers of an opioid overdose. Anyone can use or administer Narcan safely while they wait for first responders to arrive. The team also provided a resource list for Countywide treatment services.

Probation Department​ ​

Probation officers provided an easy and accessible access point for probation clients to check-in with their probation officer. The team also provided general education on the probation system and the work they do, and how clients can positively interface with the justice system.

Department of Human Assistance (DHA)​

DHA provided information about benefit assistance and eligibility – such as cash assistance, food benefits and general assistance. Residents can check their eligibility for benefits online or by visiting a DHA field office. DHA is also hiring for several entry level positions and gave out job flyers to people looking for work.

Serving the complex needs of the County’s unhoused residents requires multi-agency collaboration. The Community Health Fair is a great example of bringing critical resources together in one place that is easy to access for the people that need them the most. This opportunity also allowed service providers to meet each other and further the community collaboration needed to have a lasting impact on homelessness.