If you live in the city of Colton, you have probably noticed an increase in the homeless population over the past few years. In 2018, according to the San Bernardino 2018 Homeless Count and Subpopulation Survey Final Report, there were 2,118 homeless people in San Bernardino County. That is a 13.5% increase from 2017. As a result, the growing population is a current concern among residents. Colton has been working hard to find solutions to the problem. Recently, the city requested grant funding from the government to provide services to the homeless.
Even without funding from the government there are people in the community that are making a difference. Mr. Anthony Garcia, of Mobile Handup Solutions, a nonprofit organization providing mobile showers and other services to the homeless community in Colton, works diligently to address this issue. Mr. Garcia, in collaboration with various faith-based and benevolent organizations, provides showers twice a week in the city of Colton, and in other areas in the Inland Empire. In addition to the showers, Mr. Garcia connects people with additional services and resources.
As a social work student at California State University, San Bernardino, I am currently working on a community outreach project with five other students: Stacy Arevalo, Elvia Gallo, Monique Metoyer, Martin Diaz Solorio, and Yvette Robles. In support of Mr. Garcia’s mission to assist and empower the homeless, we collected donated items and put together hygiene packets to distribute at one of Mobile Handup Solutions shower events. The packets include: deodorant, floss, gloves, lotion, soap, socks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and information about resources and services. We are so grateful for the help, support, and donations we have received from our community.
We have encountered many people that feel bad about the homeless crisis but are unsure how to help. One way to help is to add the “GotFood?” application to your mobile device and to tell others about the app. The app provides information about local food banks, hot meals, and food programs. Once you enter a zip code, the app will show where to find the nearest meal in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Another way to help is to donate money to help support Mobile Handup Solutions’ cause through Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/mobilehandupsolutions/?ref=py_c .
Homelessness in Colton is a complex problem. By working together, we can make a difference in the Inland Empire.
By Julie Engle