Homelessness is a growing issue across the nation, including northern Sonoma County. According to the Sonoma County 2018 Homeless Census & Survey there are 262 unsheltered individuals in northern Sonoma County (up from 219 in 2017). One of the major challenges faced by organizations looking to help these populations is the mental health instability of those who are homeless and their fear of seeking help from providers.
The Healthcare Foundation Northern Sonoma County is awarding Reach for Home with a grant of $123,250 for mental health stabilization of homeless populations in Sonoma County. CEO Debbie Mason said in a statement, “We are delighted to award this grant for an innovative approach to mental health stabilization of the homeless in our region. A donor estate gift made this grant possible. It’s an example of how we work with donors to execute their visions of creating solutions to community issues.” As a leader in philanthropic investments, the Healthcare Foundation appreciates the opportunity to fund evidence-based, innovative ideas to community health issues.
Reach for Home will use the $123,250 grant to launch a Street Medicine program that provides care directly to people where they are living and sleeping on the streets, in the woods, parks, etc. Reach for Home will provide health screenings at encampments and medication management for mental health and medical conditions in partnership with telemedia and physician support from Alliance Medical Center and Alexander Valley Healthcare.
Colleen Carmichael, executive director of Reach for Home, said "Reach for Home is very grateful to the Healthcare Foundation for their grant to support our Street Medicine Program. Together we believe providing mental health services to the most vulnerable in our community, by treating them where they live, is a critical component to improving the overall health of this underserved population.”
About the Healthcare Foundation: The Healthcare Foundation is the only funder exclusively focused on the northern region of Sonoma County, through the lens of health. It is the leading proponent for creating healthier communities and relies on donor contributions to fund its work. The Healthcare Foundation has three focus areas for its grant making: health access, mental health and early childhood development. Founded in 2001, the Healthcare Foundation has invested more than $26 million to build a healthier region for all who live, work and play here.
About Reach for Home: Reach for Home partners with numerous organizations to help people in northern Sonoma County who are struggling with homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, engaging clients in an action plan for their success, and providing them with the skills needed to attain permanent housing. Learn more at www.reachforhome.org