Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa works with homeless families, focusing on normalizing the lives of about 400 children per year during this difficult transitional period of shelter living. Services include emergency shelter, food, clothing and supportive services such as tutoring, childcare, after school and summer programs.
Due to lack of money, transportation or understanding of children's dental health needs, most homeless parents do not access dental care for their children. Most of these children have never been to a dentist, have no basic oral hygiene, and have significant tooth decay which contributes to overall poor health and missed school days. Access to dental care is the number one unmet health need for our community's children, especially homeless children, who have a 10-fold dental caries rate compared to their peers with homes.
Since 2006, Infineon Speedway Children's Charities has funded a Children's Mobile Dental Clinic, managed by St. Joseph Health Systems, for homeless children in Santa Rosa, treating dental caries and providing oral health education, improving their long-term overall health. Ten to twenty children are served each month by this service, which continues today thanks to this generous, well-targeted grant.
Catholic Charities serves 40,000 people each year in California's Redwood Empire counties of Sonoma, Napa and Lake, focusing on seniors, immigrants and families in crisis. More information at www.srcharities.org