Introducing a children’s support program for families at risk of homelessness



Behavioral Health Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group and Sacramento County have entered into a new program to support children and families at risk of homelessness or currently experiencing homelessness. The children’s program takes a holistic approach to health. It treats both physical and mental health, while providing families with a sense of security and self-sufficiency.

In addition to providing the necessary mental health treatment, the program works with vendors to help reduce overall financial housing difficulties that negatively affect their mental health, including rent, utilities, deposits, furniture purchases, and other financial needs.

“Children thrive on predictability, routine, and a sense of security and restraint,” said Dr. Carter Haynes, the Medical Behavior Group. “The lack of a stable living environment creates an emotional and mental strain on children, which can lead to fatigue from sleep deprivation, anxiety and fear related to safety issues, poor school performance and inability to concentrate due to the stress in which they live.”

A carefully balanced solution
“The children’s program helps to find creative and permanent solutions, respecting the recovery model where self-sustainability is needed. That’s an important balance, ”said Gray Green, Sacramento County Children and Family Mental Health Program Manager. “It is clear that management and the teams that support this program have taken on the challenge that homelessness, which affects mental health and well-being, is a problem they can help solve simultaneously for a single client.”

For many homeless families, instability begins with an event such as job loss or death in the family. Any period of homelessness can lead to problems with safety, mental health and physical health. The children’s program aims to improve the lives of participating families by providing them with the necessary mental health and financial resources at these key points.

“For many homeless families and at-risk groups, the difference between stable housing and where they are located is not large, but much larger than theirs,” Dr. Haynes said. “Providing them with such financial support in continuing mental health service can be of great value.”

Who is eligible?
The children’s program serves Medi-Cal customers who are eligible between the ages of 0 and 21, and members of their immediate families. To be eligible, families must be referred through the SACRAMENT ACCESS team. The program is funded by the Department of Behavioral Health Services, voter-approved Proposal 63 of the Mental Health Act (MHSA), and serves the following school districts:

● Elk Grove USD
● Folsom Cordova USD
● United Galta SD Union
● Sacramento City USD
● San Juan USD
● Twin Rivers USD

Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group will provide mental health services to participating families in two locations – at the Rancho-Córdoba Children’s Center at 9837 Boulevard Fall, at the Suite F in Rancho-Córdoba and at the South Children’s Center at 6615 Valley Hi Drive, Suite A y. Sacramento. Each center employs a child / adolescent psychiatrist, as well as mental health counselors and family and youth peers.

Learn more about the Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group children’s program and behavioral health here. Families can be referred through the access group to Sacramento County. For assistance in the referral process, residents of the area can call the location of the Córdoba Ranch at 916.450.2600 or the South Sacramento at 916.735.4575.

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