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Project Homeless Connect Logo


October 20, 2018

Imagine not knowing where your next meal would be coming from or searching for a decent place to sleep where you are safe from the elements. Jefferson County’s homeless population lives this every day.

On Thursday, September 20 at Elks Lodge in Festus, MO, dozens of local agencies joined arms to provide services to this population, reaching 88 homeless individuals including 19 children and 50 households.

“Seeing so many Jefferson County agencies come together to assist and support our homeless population was an amazing experience to be a part of,” said MaryBeth Pugh, Housing Manager at COMTREA. “It may have only been a one day event, but Project Homeless Connect gave hope to so many people who do not know where to turn in times of crisis.”

Project Homeless Connect offered services to the homeless population including ID cards via the DMV, acquiring birth certificates, clothing needs, a hot meal, dental services, veteran services, and other services.

All of these services were provided at either a very low cost or no cost at all to those who qualified.

COMTREA was awarded a $10,000 grant to launch the event as a way to help this underserved population with their basic and everyday needs.

Other Missouri counties, including Cape Girardeau, offer Project Homeless Connect annually. COMTREA and other local agencies hope provide similar events to our homeless population on a frequent basis.

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COMTREA Dental Leadership receiving award

COMTREA Dental Receives Award from the Suburban St. Louis Nurses’ Association

October 16, 2018

The COMTREA Tooth Titans Mobile Team accepted an award from the Suburban St. Louis Nurses’ Association on October 11, 2018.

COMTREA was nominated for work with Parkway Schools​ and future work with the Rockwood School District​.

Representing Comtrea Dental​ was Makenzie Beckham, Renee Blanken, Dr. Garland, and Sandy Holifield (left to right). Not in attendance to receive the award was Tiffany Grant, Kamrie Reynolds, Danielle Greenlee, and Kate Poleos, Tooth Titans staff at COMTREA. 

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October 14, 2018

For the time it takes you to read this sentence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline will have received two calls from victims of abuse.

The leading victims of domestic violence are women, regardless of age, race, religion, nationality, educational background or economic status. One in three women experience abuse by their intimate partner.

On a national scale, one in four women will experience domestic or sexual violence. In Missouri, 140,000 domestic violence incidents were officially reported in 2012.

A parent could expect one of their four daughters to experience domestic violence.

A classmate could expect one or more of their female friends to experience domestic violence.

A homeowner could expect one of their adjacent female neighbors to experience domestic violence.

Walk away. Leave the relationships. Find a new place to live. Talk to someone. Get help.

How many mothers, daughters, and friends did not survive the last 24 hours at the hands of their perpetrator or abuser?

For a victim, leaving the abusive situation may be the most difficult decision of their life, even if it is to preserve their own life.

On average, a victim will return to the abuser seven times before successfully breaking the cycle. Resources, support, provision, finances, and safety are often the leading factors for leaving a situation.

Abusers use the power of fear to control the minds and emotions of victims.

If I leave, I will not survive. If I leave, I will lose my family. If I leave, I will be at fault.

In order to combat the fear of leaving, domestic violence shelters provide victims a safe place to escape. Shelters offer resources, support, counseling, safety, and family to the most vulnerable and in-need community members.

According to 79 shelters in Missouri, over 10,000 victims and their children received safe shelter, while 17,500 of those in need were turned away due to lack of resources.

The domestic violence shelter in Jefferson County, A Safe Place, a division of COMTREA, saw a 24 percent increase from 2016 to 2017 in families referred to other agencies because of full capacity.

A Safe Place, a division of COMTREA, was able to provide 6,289 nights of safety in 2017, but the demand greatly exceeds the shelter’s capacity.

Recognizing this crisis, a Friends of A Safe Place Foundation was created and launched a capital campaign for Mary’s House of Hope at A Safe Place with the purpose of building additional housing for survivors of domestic violence in Jefferson County.

The build will offer apartment style living spaces. Residents may stay for two years, as they participate in a self-empowerment program and receive counseling, employment assistance, support, and resources to transition to an independent, sustainable life.

Help break the cycle of domestic violence in Jefferson County by raising awareness, by talking about it openly, volunteering at A Safe Place domestic violence shelter, a division of COMTREA, and by donating to build transitional housing.

Learn more and donate to building housing for survivors at www.comtrea.org/campaign.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, call the 24 hour national hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or A Safe Place, a division of COMTREA, at 636-232-2301.

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Primary Care Education - ou Mean I Can’t Have ANY Candy???

Dental Care Education

You Mean I Can’t Have ANY Candy???

October 6, 2018 by Sandra Holifield, Oral Health Outreach Manager 

With Halloween coming up, children will be getting that candy filled gleam in their eyes, trying to find the most popular costume, and start counting down the days until their “Candy Coma”.

So, is eating candy really that horrible?

The simple answer is no…if you follow some simple guidelines.

The bad thing about candy is the amount of sugar it contains. Most candy is made up of sugar, but the most popular and worst choices are based on sugar content, with nearly 40 grams or 7 teaspoons of sugar in each piece of candy!

Try this when you are at home - take a teaspoon and measure out 40 grams of sugar. That’s what a child will consume with each candy bar or sticky, chewy serving of their Halloween treats! Now, multiply that by 100, because if your child is anything like me as a child, they will gorge themselves until they fall into a sleep sugar coma.

How can I say that eating candy isn’t that horrible?

Well, like most things today, eating in moderation is important to consider. If your child has a huge pillowcase full of candy, find a great hiding place to store some of the candy.

The first and foremost tip to follow, whether candy is involved or not, is to have an established home care routine. This routine must involve proper technique, adequate time, and parental supervision and help. You shouldn’t expect little Billy at 4 years old to go into the bathroom and brush his teeth effectively.

Children typically do not have the dexterity and control to brush for themselves until they can write legibly, which is about 8-9 years old. For children who need to “do it myself”, you can allow them to brush, but always follow up and brush after them.

Are all candies the same when it comes to oral health? Simple answer…no.

Sticky, chewy candies tend to stick in the grooves of teeth longer and have the potential to cause more damage. The best candies would be the ones that melt quickly or can be ingested quickly.

However, these things won’t matter if your child is consuming candy constantly; the sugar will still sit on their teeth. Again, this is why you’ve already taken the pillowcase and found a great hiding place for it!

So, remember that Halloween is a fun time for kids, but should always be supervised and always, always be followed by proper brushing and flossing either with you or by you! Have a great and safe Halloween!

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