Rep. Pete Aguilar joined Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc. (RSBCIHI) to announce $720,000 in federal funding to establish a services program for victims of crime on Tuesday, Nov. 5. The funding will allow RSBCIHI to hire a Victim Services Project Director, a Victim Services Support Specialist and a full-time Mental Health Clinician to establish a victims’ services program within the organization. The program will help members of tribal communities within the Inland Empire area connect with necessary mental and physical health services. RSBCIHI provides high-quality health services to tribal communities throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, including the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
“Too often, our tribal communities aren’t granted the resources they need to access high-quality medical care, including mental health care. The establishment of a victims’ services program through RSBCIHI will allow more Inland Empire residents to access the care they need in the wake of traumatic events,” said Aguilar.
“The $720,000 in Federal Funding would provide a severely needed resource to the San Bernardino Native community and to Native American Victims of crime. The funding would assist in hiring a Victim Services Project Director and Victim Services Support Specialist for Riverside-San Bernardino County Indian Health, Inc. (RSBCIHI) and would provide the needed infrastructure to address this issue. It would assist RSBCIHI in facilitating outreach to the San Bernardino Native community and coordination of care for the victims of crime including domestic violence (DV) victims,” said Dr. Herbert McMichael, Director of Behavioral Health Services for RSBCIHI.
This funding, which will be provided over a three-year period comes from the US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs (OJP). As Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Aguilar voted to increase funds for OJP earlier this year.