Healthy Start should not see its end

Healthy Start is in danger and with the threat of its departure the question arises: what would we do without it?

As a resource many people depend on but usually take for granted, Healthy Start provides more than just sports-required physicals. When someone needs legitimate medical attention, it’s there. When people need counseling, it’s there. When someone simply does not feel well, it’s there.

It’s a source of protection and birth control for those that can’t get it anywhere else, and now for those people specifically the question persists: what would we do without it?

For those that use the clinic as a source for sexual protection, it’s unlikely those same people will be able to get those supplies elsewhere, and that’s worrisome. People without sufficient health care turn to free sources such as this before anything else, and now the permanence of the building that houses Healthy Start does not reflect within the program itself. The memorable white cross on the bright red door serves as a sense of security for many, and will hopefully remain intact.

This is especially important now, as the Affordable Care Act is being debated. Considering Stockton is not a particularly wealthy area, resources for students seem to be getting smaller and smaller. Providing for students to ensure they are healthy will potentially only be harder on families, and for many that will be a burden they cannot bare.

Stockton Unified School District would like to do what they can to keep Healthy Start a reality for students, but without a clear plan of how they will be doing that is disappointing.

Intentions and actions are very different, and until it is evident they have transitioned to the latter, there is very little to no ease in the minds of those that rely on this resource.

Without the proper funding, what is to be done? With the retirement of Judy Rauzi, the program’s only coordinator for more than 20 years, and the losses of a Delta nurse as well as a clerical staff, prospects seem grim. Additionally, next year is the last year expected to be covered by the Local Control and Accountability Plan for funding grants.

All students are left with is hope, and hope isn’t going to provide for them in the way this center has.