3 generations – Finally HOME
Grandmother Patricia, Daughter Lorena, and Grandson Samuel celebrate finally having a safe place they can call HOME. For all the grandson’s life, daughter Lorena states, “We’ve never had much stability, it was one year here one year there, but I never gave up I had to find a way to make it work for my son.” And it’s true, Lorena continued to show up every day, paperwork in hand and working with The Office of Homeless Solutions Staff to find housing. Always asking what more she could do to get her and her son out of the motel and get her mother, Patricia, out of the Riverbottom. After applying to countless 2-bedroom units and searching day and night, the family finally has a place to call HOME. They are so excited to make this place their own and they stated, “Samuel just turned 8 years old, so it was the perfect gift to be able to tell him we are going HOME.” Grandmother Patricia spent the last 6.5 years in the Riverbottom, and she said she is excited to use this opportunity to work on her health and spend time with her family. “The Riverbottom was overall an unhealthy environment and I’m just so happy and grateful to you all to be out of there.” The family is adjusting well, and they are looking forward to the upcoming holidays and decorating their HOME. Congratulations to the Bailon Family and Welcome Home.
After 21 years unhoused – Kevin finally a place to call HOME
Kevin was born in Fresno, CA but he lived most of his life in Riverside, CA. Kevin moved to Riverside at 4 years old, and as a youth he attended Mountain View Elementary and John W. North HS. Mr. Johnson who shares openly about his struggle with substance misuse and his recovery, has just recently reached 14 years of sobriety. Although, it wasn’t the misuse of drugs and alcohol that ultimately led to his long journey on the streets. Mr. Johnson states “Going through a divorce took a very big toll on my overall stability; I struggled for years with trusting people romantically and personally, I still do.” Mr. Johnson now 66, said he decided to stop using 14 years ago because he understood the consequences of continuing that lifestyle. After being in the Riverbottom for 21 years Kevin explains, “I was comfortable, but I began to become increasingly more worried about my health as time was passing. Samantha and the Office of Homeless Solutions found me at the right time. I was ready to get out of there.” Due to Kevin having two emotional support animals, it was not easy to find a landlord that was willing to rent to him, but Kevin never lost hope. Communicating daily with his worker, the Office of Homeless Solutions was finally able to find a place to call HOME for Mr. Johnson and his dogs. Kevin is adjusting well at his new home and states, “I take the dogs out to the onsite dog park every morning, they are so happy to be out of the Riverbottom.” Not only is Kevin taking care of his dogs, but he is also able to properly take care of himself now. He shared how he is using the onsite gym, he has medical appointments scheduled, he can take showers daily, wash his clothes, store his food in a refrigerator, and most importantly he says, “I can finally lock my door, I’m safe. We’re safe.”. Kevin shared that he never wants to go back to the Riverbottom, “Having this roof over my head is something I’m proud of. For once I feel ‘normal’, and that motivates me to keep going.” When the world labeled him as “homeless”, he states, “I never felt human”. Mr. Johnson still visits the local Stater Bros where he would go daily for groceries when he was living in the Riverbottom. Kevin stated, “The workers all congratulated me on finding housing, they are happy for me, and I consider them to be my friends. I am happy for me. Why would I ever go back there (Riverbottom).” Congratulations Kevin, keep celebrating! The Office of Homeless Solutions staff are all very proud of you and happy for you. Welcome HOME!!
The City of Riverside Office of Homeless Solutions staff would like to extend our best wishes to Mr. Morgan on this new fresh start. Justin has found himself challenged by life in numerous ways, but he is excited and ready to use this opportunity as a fresh start. Case Manager Samantha and the Office of Homeless Solutions met Justin in the Santa Ana River Bottom where he was hesitant to speak with the team as he has had a history of justice involvement. Samantha built rapport with Mr. Morgan, and he accepted services. Case Manager Samantha and Justin worked together to complete all necessary documents and locate housing. Justin looks forward to working with his City Net case manager to obtain employment and set goals that will help him become self-sufficient. Congratulations Justin and Welcome Home!
The City of Riverside Office of Homeless Solutions staff would like to welcome Ms. Salinas home. The smile on her face says it all. Tina has spent many years on the streets of Riverside and was very familiar with many outreach staff, code enforcement and our city PSET team. When Case Manager Samantha first encountered Tina in the Santa Ana River Bottom, her frustrations were very clear. Tina stated, “Hi Samantha, I’m sorry but I’ve met others like you before. Everyone says they are going to help me and look at me. I’m still here, I’m still homeless.” Samantha was very understanding toward Tina’s frustrations, but really wanted to help Tina. It took time and a lot of patience to grow rapport with Tina, but that was something she needed; Tina needed to be able to trust the person she was working with. Although the process was full of many challenges for Tina she never gave up. She was very resourceful throughout the process and that is why she found her “forever home”. After spending many years homeless around Riverside and the last three years in the Santa Ana River Bottom Tina shares, “My health has declined.” Tina wants to use this opportunity to focus on her overall health and wellbeing, and once her health stabilizes and she gets stronger, she looks forward to reconnecting with her family. Even though Tina has prayed for this day to come and her time being on the streets to come to an end, her transition into housing was very tough for everyone involved. Tina shared real emotions on the day of her transition from the Santa Ana River Bottom into her new home. Tina explained, “I am afraid of change, this is all I’ve known for so many years.” It takes courage to embrace change, and Tina is very courageous. Tina shared with her case manager Samantha recently how well things have been going since she’s been housed, and she will use this motivation to continue to bigger and better things. “Just watch Samantha, I’m going to make you all proud”. The Office of Homeless Solutions staff are already very proud of you Tina Salinas and we wish you all the best. Congratulations and WELCOME HOME!
2021 Permanent Housing
2020 Permanent Housing
From Homeless to Housed: Mr. Gonzalo spent the last two years in Riverside without a home and despite losing his loved ones, he persevered and worked with the Office of Homeless Solutions and @citynetsocal staff to attain housing and become self-sufficient. Congrats Mr. Gonzalo on getting the keys to your new home! #CityNetRiverside
April is National Fair Housing Month, and we would like to acknowledge the City of Riverside's Housing Authority, Office of Homeless Solutions, and @citynetsocal in the collective approach to advocate, support and assist Mr. Wayne from homelessness to housed!
Mr. Wayne was homeless for 10 years in the City of Riverside. Thankfully, his participation in the pallet shelter program led to securing a tenant based rental assistance voucher, where the City’s Housing Authority landlord locator worked hard to find him the right apartment. Congrats Mr. Wayne!
After 4 years of being homeless, our friend Mark has successfully obtained housing and has begun working full-time. Through the Massachusetts Action Plan (MAP) program, Mark was able to gain stability and the confidence to start his journey towards employment again. While in the program, Mark was linked to a Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) voucher and was able to work with the City of Riverside and @citynetriverside to locate an affordable unit in a senior complex. Mark is confident that after his assistance he will remain happily housed.
Mr. Patterson & Mrs. Bahrami
Marching into March with Success! We want to acknowledge the City’s Housing Authority staff for the hard work in locating units to house the now formally homeless. Congrats Mr. Patterson and Ms. Bahrami on your new homes!
Congratulations Dean! Dean enrolled in the Riverside (Pallet) Shelter and worked hard with the Office of Homeless Solutions and @citynetriverside to find housing after he became homeless at the age of 63. We are happy to say that Dean has made it home!
Will has moved into his brand new apartment! He was one of the many individuals experiencing homelessness on Massachusetts Avenue until the City of Riverside Council approved the “MAP Home” project last fall. Thanks to CARES funding, assistance was provided to support individuals experiencing homelessness transition into shelter and permanent housing while mitigating impacts on the community. Thank you to our Office of Homeless Solutions and @citynetriverside for helping Will out of homelessness in less than 4 months!
Congratulations to the latest graduate of the City’s Riverside Shelter Village. We are proud of Raylene, who worked hard to gain employment and secure housing through the support of our partner, @citynetriverside.
In Riverside County alone, roughly 2,900 adults and youths are experiencing homelessness. A county this size requires a community-wide effort - and fortunately one exists!
From Homeless to Housed
Hooray for the latest life to be changed by the City of Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions!
Dozens of Homeless People Get Into Shelter as Part of Clean-Up
A MAP Home (Massachusetts Avenue Plan), a four-month effort, is designed to keep encampments off Massachusetts Avenue. The City has been proactive since the start of the pandemic in keeping COVID-19 from spreading among individuals experiencing homelessness. More than 60 people who had been living in encampments along Massachusetts Avenue are in temporary bridge housing or a shelter as part of the first step of a comprehensive effort to clean up the area, eliminate potential health risks, and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
A total of 63 people were helped, including 49 individuals who were placed into temporary housing and another 14 who accepted spots at a shelter or other program, including one person who was reunited with family. The temporary bridge housing placements include 24-hour case management services and security.
A MAP Home is funded with money the City of Riverside received as part of the CARES Act through advocacy of the Big City Mayors, a group that includes @mayor_bailey. The effort also connects individuals experiencing homelessness with programs at the county level designed to help veterans, persons living with HIV/AIDs, women and families, and people on probation.
Home Sweet Home: Just 9 days after the Massachusetts Avenue project, Richard moved into his very own apartment! The City of Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions and @citynetriverside assisted Richard with housing navigation and connection to services. Richard has been homeless for over 10 years and thanks the City of Riverside for a place he can now call home. @mayor_bailey had said at the start of this project, “We know that this work is just beginning, and to claim success, we will need to move these residents from temporary shelter to long-term housing. I look forward to our efforts to further assist people on the path to self-sufficiency while also keeping Massachusetts Avenue clear and safe.” And it has happened — we wish you the best, Richard!
Mr. Martinez & Mr. Jones
Kudos to our Office of Homeless Solutions (OHS) in getting Mr. Martinez and Mr. Jones safely housed! The two friends were both living homeless in the Hole Lake encampments and one day took the courage steps to accept services with our Outreach workers. Fast forward, and they are now jumping for joy in their own apartment holding their leases! With a new sense of hope in the New Year, they feel they can conquer the world and are very appreciative of supportive services provided by the City of Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions.
Happy to be going home: Thanks to the City of Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions “Trip Home” program, this woman now gets to be reunited with her father who lives out of state. Best wishes to you both
Ms. Keifert is giving a thumbs up to show her gratitude for getting out of homelessness and into housing.
Ms. Keifert experienced homelessness in Hole Lake for two years, but then accepted assistance from the City of Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions Outreach workers who connected her to the City’s Housing Authority opportunities. By participating in active case management, she now has her own apartment and a part time job! Congrats on your success Ms. Keifert, and thumbs up right back at you!
Happy Heart: 74 year old Peggy and Elmer, her dog and only family member, have extremely grateful hearts this evening!Back in January, we brought to you Peggy’s story when Governor Newsom visited our Access Center to support the work of the Office of Homeless Solutions. Peggy’s story was so touching that @mayor_bailey provided her with a key to the City’s Riverside Shelter Village that eventually began operations in March with ADA units. Since then, the Office of Homeless Solutions, along with the amazing wraparound support by @citynetriverside Outreach workers, Path of Life, and County Housing Authority, was able to house Peggy into her very own beautiful apartment in the City of Riverside! CityNet and Riverside Shelter Village operators threw a wonderful graduation to celebrate Peggy.
Congratulations to Ms. Finnell and her newborn twins on their new home. With the assistance of Office of Homeless Solutions, they were recently able to achieve stable housing. As you can see, she is moving into her new place while practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. Congrats on your accomplishments, Ms. Finnell!
2020 Shelter Housing
We would like to take a moment and share some heartfelt words from this gentleman’s brother. “There are no words that can express my gratitude for the genuine care you’ve shown in assisting my brother. When all this COVID-19 virus ends, I would love to volunteer. You’ve not only removed my brother off the streets but have given him the opportunity to truly become a productive member of society. So with that said, here is a picture of him, safely housed rather than in the streets. I feel your programs will provide him with the guidance needed to be a true success story, thank you City of Riverside!”
Changing lives: What happens at 8 p.m. heading into a holiday weekend? The City of Riverside Office of Homeless Solutions staff, @riversidepolicedepartment, and @citynetriverside are working hard to get individuals experiencing homelessness off the streets. Thank you to Riverside County Supervisor Spiegel’s staff for bringing Josh to our attention; he can now spend the 4th of July sheltered and safe! Just as the saying goes, “It takes a village...” and Riverside sure has one.
Mr. Jerry Gower
Mr. Jerry Gower was housed through the Permanent Supportive Housing program on February, 8, 2018. Jerry is a senior client that was homeless for 5 years in the City of Riverside. He is medically disabled and was referred to us through the Coordinated Entry System. Mr. Gower has a service dog named Tweety and he is happy that he is finally housed.
This was my first time being homeless. My homeless experience was transformational on an emotional and spiritual level. I understand why some women succumb to certain behaviors, addictions, and elements of society because of their situations, but I have always been observant and tried to be strong and informed. When I slept in my tinted window van to avoid shelters, I chose secluded private areas. I kept remembering that one of my instructors had said that I had the where-with-all to motivate and inspire others with my life story. That helped to keep me strong.
Gym Rats Fit
Not all donations to the Office of Homeless Solutions are monetary. @gymratsfit just donated several blankets so our friends in need can stay warm and cozy. Our friend, Mr. Sturdivant, also received a donated entertainment center. Donations of household goods, non-perishable food, and appliances (in good condition) are appreciated. Your kindness is someone's hope.
Students and Leadership at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley
Better Together: Riverside would like to give a huge shout-out to the students and leadership at Valley View High School in Moreno Valley. In a campaign called, “You Matter To Me,” 80 juniors and seniors collected non-perishable food items and hygiene products and graciously donated them to the City of Riverside Office of Homeless Solutions.
The Office of Homeless Solutions, Housing Authority and CityNet
Donation Time: The Office of Homeless Solutions, Housing Authority and CityNet staff appreciate your donations! They directly support clients who have worked hard to gain stable housing.
Feed My Flock Ministries
Welcome Home: The City of Riverside Office of Homeless Solutions would like to give a great big THANK YOU to Mary and her team at Feed My Flock Ministries for donating essential home goods in welcome baskets for formerly homeless individuals as they transition into their new homes!
THANK YOU to @gramsmissionbbq for their generous donation of delicious southern-style food that made a difference in the lives of 50 individuals experiencing homelessness and hunger. We are truly appreciative for the heart and soul of those who donate their time, energy, and money to helping the plight of the homeless here in the City of Riverside!
City Net Riverside
Thank you Toni, her family, and the Inland Valley Construction community for your support of our Riverside regional efforts. Your $30,000 contribution will make a HUGE impact in the drive to create solutions to end homelessness in City of Corona and City of Riverside.
For the People
Look for the helpers: Thank you to the nonprofit, For the People, who recently donated healthy salads to our Riverside Shelter Village. Many individuals experiencing homelessness were able to enjoy a healthy meal thanks to their generosity.
Riverside at Work Program
Working Hard! The Office of Homeless Solutions would like to congratulate Dorine, Martin and Jessica (pictured), 3 new hires with Riverside at Work Program (RAW)! The RAW program is designed to assist formerly homeless persons with on-the-job training, work skills, mentorship, educational tools and resources towards the path of new career goals to attain self-sufficiency. Dorine would like the City of Riverside, Office of Homeless Solutions to know, “ She is so VERY Thankful, Blessed and Happy for the support and resources that allowed her to get her life back on track!”
UCR School of Medicine & Riverside Hospital
On February 12th, the Office of Homeless Solutions partnered with the @ucr_school_of_medicine and @riversidehospital to provide basic health care needs and flu shots to individuals experiencing homelessness at the Hulen Campus and its partner agencies, @citynetriverside, @pathoflifeorg , and County Behavioral Health, where over 25 individuals were served and connected to sustainable health care resources. A heartfelt thank you to our health care workers in our community!
First Impressions Program
Last summer, the Office of Homeless Solutions partnered with @citynetriverside and @theriversideairportcafe to provide dinner services for individuals experiencing homelessness, supporting and stimulating the local economy during the pandemic. And last month, the First Impressions program was announced to begin in 2021, a public-private partnership between the City, Salvation Army and the LDS church to help individuals experiencing homelessness get back to work through city cleanup and other projects. The program, funded by private donors, received a generous donation of $50,000 from Molina Healthcare of California. Once again, the giving hearts of Riversiders are alive and well! To learn more about the City’s Office of Homeless Solutions, click the link in our profile.
RFD & Spark of Love
The City of Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions would like to thank the @cityofriverside firedepartment for their heart-warming actions. Recently, they were able to provide an unforgettable opportunity to two families who are exiting homelessness and now in housing. The single mom of two along with the Veteran couple are so very grateful.
The City of Riverside Fire Department & Riverside City Firefighter’s Association joined Riverside Target stores on Arlington & Tyler this holiday season by sponsoring the recent ABC Spark of Love - Shop with a Firefighter events.
With generous donations from sponsors & Target Stores, the two families purchased items for their home: blankets, towels, clothing, school supplies, along with toys and gifts that will help make their holiday a special one. Each family was also given a box of all the fixings for a complete holiday meal!Thank you doesn’t seem like enough, but it’ll have to do. #ILoveRiverside
Thanks to our growing partnership with supportive organizations throughout Riverside, @operationsafehouse paid it forward, just as they always do. They received a large donation of socks, hats, and shirts from Amazon and decided to continue the generosity by sharing with others. Our friends from the local non-profit, Sara and Matt, came to the Access Center bearing gifts for those experiencing homelessness, truly exemplifying what it means when we say everything is Better Together!
Life Skills Class with Marcella Norro
What a great day of growing and learning - The City or Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions staff would like to thank Psychologist Marcella Norro for providing a virtual Life Skills class today. Some of the important topics included: problem solving skills, budgeting, hygiene, trauma, anger management, communication skills, as well as coping with grief, loss and depression. Kudos to clients masking up and remaining 6ft apart.
Riverside County’s SOS Team
Better together: Recently, the Office of Homeless Solutions collaborated with the County’s SOS Team, comprised of physician assistants, nurses and EMTs, to gain specialized safety training and COVID awareness for staff and partners working with individuals experiencing homelessness.
Wow—what great things happen when partnerships jump into action! Earlier this month, the City of Riverside’s Office of Homeless Solutions’ outreach team partnered with the County’s Homeless & Housing Department and County Facilities Department. Together, they offered services for individuals experiencing homelessness on County Farm Road as well as completed a mass clean-up of approximately 10 tons of debris. Everything is always better together!
The City Net Riverside Team conducted a survey designed to assist the city of #Riverside develop more community resources and direct services appropriately during the #COVID-19 crisis. Thank you to all who supported this mission!
Emergency Quarantine Trailer Shelter
Riverside Receives Trailers to Help Homeless who have the symptoms of COVID-19 A message from @mayor_bailey and @cmronaldofierro: The City of Riverside has received 15 trailers from the State of California which provide safe isolation housing for individuals experiencing homelessness who have the symptoms of COVID-19 but do not need medical attention and can care for themselves. The trailers from the state’s Office of Emergency Services are located at Riverside Airport. Separating individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 from the rest of the homeless population currently residing in shelters will assist in slowing the spread of the deadly virus. Operations of the trailers will be overseen by @citynetriverside, a non-profit organization with experience in providing outreach, shelter and services to individuals experiencing homelessness. CityNet is overseeing similar trailer operations in other cities in Southern California.
Emergency Shelter Village
“As you know, this is my last State of the City address, and several of my most memorable leadership experiences and decisions occurred this last year. Most recently, I decided to spend every other night in an 8x8 emergency shelter - to lead by example and bring a sense of urgency to our housing and shelter crisis. Shelter is an important component to stabilize people and families while they wait for housing. I am proud of your city council for boldly expanding shelter capacity in the last month.” - Mayor Bailey
UCR Med Students
Riverside is full of good people doing good things. Thank you, thank you, thank you. RCC Nursing + MVC Medics had the amazing opportunity to provide medical care with UCR Medicine at a Street Medicine Free Clinic in Riverside.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson made Riverside a stop on his tour to learn how local governments and faith-based organizations are working together to provide affordable housing and address homelessness. His efforts aim to break down regulatory barriers that are perpetuating our housing crisis, and he is looking to learn from government and faith partnerships like what has occurred at the Grove Village. We are grateful for HUD’s attention and willingness to understand what is happening at the local level.
The Office of Homeless Solutions sends a big thank you to all the volunteers who showed up this year for the 2020 Homeless Point in Time Count in the City of Riverside. Yesterday, volunteers woke up in the early hours of the morning to count and survey individuals experiencing homelessness in order to better our programs and services. We had amazing volunteers, the Mayor, council members, the City Manager’s Office, and many City departments partake in counting. This event was a partnership with the County of Riverside who assisted Veterans in getting connected to emergency housing and resources on the spot!