July 19, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Rialto Police Department seeks funding to continue successful programing for homeless

2 min read

Photos SWAG: Homeless elder Lawrence placed in his new permanent housing in early March with the assistance of SWAG.

Since June 2020, Rialto Police Department has been partnering with Social Work Action Group (SWAG), a nonprofit organization that is advocating, educating, and inspiring individuals and families in the Rialto community and beyond to achieve sustainable independence.

Last year, the successful partnership was funded by the San Bernardino County Homeless Emergency Aid Program and funding is coming to an end on May 31, 2021.

“We’re at a time where homeless matters are critical and the program with SWAG has proven to be highly successful in our city. Since last year we have seen many cases of our city’s homeless find permanent housing and we have the stats to prove the program’s effectiveness,” said Captain Anthony Vega.

Jazmin Jiminez from SWAG providing a Rialto homeless woman with shoes during the intake process.

Some of the data Vega referenced includes identifying 156 homeless in the city, making 1,125 engagements with homeless clients, transitioning 45 individuals from the street and into permanent housing.

“SWAG provides the city’s homeless population an intensive case management-like experience by assisting the client in obtaining identification, wellness resources, find permanent housing, and support services every step of the way until reaching self sufficiency,” said Corporal Dwuan Rice. “SWAG has been very beneficial to our community as it provides the bandwidth and services that our homeless population crucially needs.”

According to a Rialto PD issued press release, when an officer responds to a call and determines an individual is homeless, the officer requests a response from the SWAG team. For each new client, SWAG begins by performing an intake questionnaire. From there, the SWAG team develops a case plan with concrete steps to find a permanent solution to end the cycle of homelessness for the individual.

“I’m pleased with the progress and impact of this program. The program has proven to be effective within the first six months and demonstrates the effectiveness of law enforcement partnering with non-law enforcement organizations such as SWAG”, says Mark Kling, Rialto Chief of Police. For those interested in providing funding opportunities, contact Corporal Dwuan Rice at drice@rialtopd.com or call (909)820-8054.


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