Breaking News
More () »

'It's who we are' | How Neighborhood Wellness works to heal the heart of Del Paso Heights

The mission is "to disrupt intergenerational poverty and trauma in Del Paso Heights and surrounding neighborhoods."

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For many, The Neighborhood Wellness Foundation is home. It's a non profit located on Clay Street, near Grand Avenue, in Sacramento's Del Paso Heights.

While there, the community usually comes out to play basketball, hit the grill and fellowship. But that's not all.

Dr. Gina Warren started the organization in 2015. The mission is "to disrupt intergenerational poverty and trauma in Del Paso Heights and surrounding neighborhoods."

"It's who we are," said Warren. "We've created an incredible team of employees that are moving in the same direction to help mitigate violence, improve mental health and build a healthier community for Del Paso Heights."

Neighborhood Wellness helps people through impact programs, like Healing Circles. It's a safe, group space for people to let it all out.

"We talk about everything, from violence, abuse, neglect and abandonment," said Warren. "We talk about racism, redlining, and everything that's associated with the disparities in the community. But we also talk about the hope and what we can do to change those disparities."

Charles Goodman grew up in Del Paso Heights. He says he faced many challenges, especially during the crack epidemic. But, through Neighborhood Wellness, he was able to find healing from the past and hope for the future.

"I seen some things that I did not want to see growing up as a child," said Goodman. "I held it all in for 47 years. At the healing circles, I just released everything. I did not understand until I came to Neighborhood Wellness about the trauma I went through. Now, I like helping other people and giving back, especially to the kids."

Bobby Brown is from Del Paso Heights and says Neighborhood Wellness helped him too. That includes providing education, career training and other resources. Now, he mentors the youth.

"The healing circles opened up a big part of me, to help myself and the community," said Brown. "At Neighborhood Wellness, we got open doors for everybody who wants to help theirself (sic) and change their life. We're here for them and their kids."

For years, the Sacramento Police Department has been working with Neighborhood Wellness too. That includes focusing on building trust in historically marginalized communities.

Together, the groups hosted a 2nd annual rib cook-off on Wednesday to help build positive and strong relationships.

"We're always striving to build trust with our communities," said Sgt. Zach Eaton with the Sacramento Police Department. "We get to not be in uniform, make food together, and have conversations that are not involved in enforcement. It's really fun to get to learn about the community that we work in. Neighborhood Wellness is a great organization."


►Explore the Race & Culture home page

►Watch Race & Culture videos on YouTube

►Subscribe to the Race & Culture newsletter

During the cook-off event, the Sacramento Kings partnered with Raley's to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a community garden at Neighborhood Wellness. It was all part of a program launched in 2016 called "ROOT." 

The Kings and Raley's donate gardens throughout underserved communities to encourage food literacy and healthy eating. 

Since the start of the program, the Kings have officially opened 12 gardens in the Greater Sacramento region. Northern California Construction Training helps too by providing garden boxes, planter beds and much more for all gardens.

"It means everything," said Warren. "It also shows that there's hope and opportunities that exist in our wonderful neighborhood. It's more than just what people see that's negative. There's a lot of great things happening in Del Paso Heights."

Neighborhood Wellness is a lifeline, helping to heal the heart of Del Paso Heights. Other impact programs include, PACERS Take Space, Higher Heights and Restore Legacies. To learn more about Neighborhood Wellness, including resources offered to communities and how to support the organization, visit their official website.

We want to hear from you!

The Race and Culture team's mission is to serve our diverse communities through authentic representation, community engagement and equitable reporting.

Accomplishing our goals of inclusive reporting requires hearing from you. Is there a person or place that you want us to highlight? Email us at raceandculture@abc10.com or fill out the form below.


New health center opens at Grant Union High School

Before You Leave, Check This Out