Hand Up Solutions, a 501c3 nonprofit, formed by Executive Director Anthony Garcia, operates a food pantry and mobile shower unit.
The organization currently provides two mobile shower units in Colton; one at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the other at Echoes of Love Ministry.
Garcia says he was inspired to help the homeless after witnessing homeless getting shuffled from city to city and hearing so many stories of homeless being placed on waiting lists for many months at a time before receiving assistance.
“I’m able to provide homeless with showers, food and connect them with services around the county and surrounding areas. I’m connected with Set Free, Victory Outreach, Teen Challenge, and the Salvation Army,” said Garcia.
He says that it takes a village of people to unite together to assist in solving the homeless problem and he’s just one small piece of it.
“Not only do I take my mobile shower unit to different locations, when direct services aren’t available, Mobile Hand Up Solutions provides referrals and information on shelters, meals, jobs, clothing, domestic violence, sober living facilities, felon friendly organizations, and other sources in the Colton, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange County areas,” continued Garcia.
Garcia also shared how homeless come in different variances and are affected at different stages in life.
“I recently assisted an elderly couple, who were both receiving dialysis, they rented a home for many, many years in San Bernardino County. One day the landlord told them he was going to sell the home and they were left homeless because they were living on a fixed income and couldn’t afford to pay rent in the area,” Garcia said.
After living in and out of their car for a number of weeks, they lived in motels for about five months before relocating to Yucca Valley where they could afford the rent.
“That elderly couple in particular, is just one example of how long waiting lists for shelters and assistance leaves people displaced. Also, that couple tried to obtain services from many organizations, but did not meet the criteria to identify themselves as homeless because they were newly displaced,” said Garcia.
He says these factors alone are reasons why he wants to continue providing immediate services to homeless in and around his community.
“In the past year I’ve been able to assist over 200 homeless in the region and I hope to gain assistance to expand and continue doing this for many years to come.,” concluded Garcia.
For more information, call (909)-258-0843; or visit Hand Up Solutions on Facebook.