The Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center and Comcast NBCUniversal hosted a “Winter Wonderland” event to support families and children impacted by the 2017 North Bay wildfires. The new Wellness Center, created by Santa Rosa City Schools (SRCS), is also receiving generous support from Kaiser Permanente, the North Bay Fire Relief Fund and United Way of the Wine Country.
The holiday celebration also marked the grand opening of the new center and provided an opportunity to support the families and children that are still living in temporary housing. The celebration featured games, holiday activities, entertainment, food and gifts for the impacted children.
“After almost a year of planning, rebuilding and obtaining funding, the Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center has now fully opened its doors. We couldn’t be more proud of how the community and organizations such as Comcast NBCUniversal and our other partners have come together to support our Santa Rosa families,” said Steve Mizera, Assistant Superintendent of Student and Family Services, Santa Rosa City Schools. “The Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center will make a positive, lasting impact in the lives of hundreds of students and their families, many of whom are still struggling to rebuild and recover.”
During the 2017 fires, more than 800 families within SRCS lost their homes and many others suffered loss, trauma and other forms of distress. Hundreds of those families are still trying to recover from the devastation. Due to school closures and other issues during the fires, many students struggled to return to their previous academic achievement levels. After assessing the overall impact to the community, SRCS determined that the traditional school-year support model was not capable of addressing the full scope of needs the community was facing.
In response, SRCS formed a partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, Kaiser Permanente, the North Bay Fire Relief Fund and United Way of the Wine Country to create the Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center. Comcast NBCUniversal donated $300,000 to SRCS for the development of the Wellness Center and more than 500 Comcast employees, their families, and community volunteers helped repair and remodel the facility during the annual Comcast Cares Day.
“Comcast NBCUniversal is dedicated to helping rebuild the communities affected by the devastating 2017 wildfires in Northern California,” said John Gauder, Regional Vice President for Comcast in California. “The support for the Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center, along with our $1.6 million donation for the 2017 North Bay fire relief efforts, show that Comcast is fully committed to serving the communities where we live and work. We were here to provide support when the crisis first occurred. And we will stay engaged for whatever timeframe is required to help the community heal.”
The new facility provides services on a year-round basis to students and families, including:
- Academic Support – a SRCS certificated teacher to provide tutoring, books, computers.
- Counseling – crisis counselors to provide support and referrals, for students and parents.
- Basic Nursing Services – a school nurse to provide vision and hearing screening, school-related health information and health referrals.
- Childcare Services for families using the Center.
The Santa Rosa Integrated Wellness Center is located at the Lewis Campus buildings at 2232 Lomitas Ave. in Santa Rosa.