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City of Riverside Provides Housing, Mental Health Services for Homeless Individuals

Published: 6/3/20




 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 3, 2020

           

Contact:

Phil Pitchford

Public Information Officer

951-826-5975

ppitchford@riversideca.gov

 

 

City of Riverside Provides Housing, Mental Health Services for Homeless Individuals

Work to begin soon on effort to provide 28 additional beds, expanded treatment

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Work will begin soon to provide 28 additional beds and expanded mental health treatment for individuals experiencing homelessness.

“The challenge of homelessness is diverse and multi-pronged, and our approach also must be multi-faceted,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “This effort will greatly assist in providing much-needed services to our neighbors without homes who are struggling with mental illness.”

The City Council recently approved a five-year agreement with Helping Hearts Hulen, LLC to bring a new transitional mental health program to the Hulen Homeless Service Campus on Massachusetts Avenue. The program is designed to assist people who are trying to become self-sufficient in their journey to independent living.

This new service for the Hulen Homeless Service Campus is expected to assist at least 60 individuals annually by helping them eventually graduate into permanent independent living. Helping Heart’s proven success in other communities is anticipated to bring similar successes through this expanded program in Riverside.

“The road to self-sufficiency often is a very difficult one for individuals experiencing homelessness,” Mayor Pro Tem Erin Edwards said. “This is especially true if there are complicating factors, such as mental illness.”

Helping Hearts specializes in community-based treatment for adults in need of mental health treatment who have been unable to care for themselves in an independent living situation. The program includes a high level of care -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of supervision and treatment -- in a home-like setting that is an alternative to psychiatric hospitalization or institutional care.

To date, these programs have saved more than $3 million in annual hospitalization, law enforcement, and overall care costs in San Bernardino County for mentally ill individuals experiencing homelessness.  In addition, these programs have helped over 100 individuals graduate into independent, healthy living.

“We are proud to partner with the City of Riverside to bring a program with proven success to this community,” said Christal Hampton, Executive Director of Helping Hearts Hulen, LLC.  “The leadership shown by the Mayor and City Council in taking this strong action to help serve this unique population represents a new step forward in treating some of our most vulnerable community members.”