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Through our "Bridging the Gap" program, Clearwater is dedicated to helping families at risk of becoming homeless and seniors on fixed-incomes live meaningful lives of dignity, enjoyment and useful purpose. We achieve this goal through a continuum of care of supportive services and individualized case management - enriching each life we touch with the opportunity to enhance their independence, celebrate life and reach their fullest potential.
Clearwater provides a wide array of services that effectively and humanely address the complex needs of homeless people: those who live on streets, in the city's public spaces and shelters; families with children; the frail and elderly; people living with HIV/AIDS; veterans; victims of domestic violence; older unemployed workers; and unskilled workers who cannot afford housing outside the city's shelter system. We work hard to provide decent and affordable housing, community-based social services, stabilizing aftercare, and effective job training that translates into self-sufficiency and independence. Clearwater creates and implements an effective continuum of care for the homeless in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties with particular attention to self-sufficiency and the prevention of homelessness. Our transitional living programs provide safe, clean and healthy living environments to homeless clients while they participate in our case-managed "plan" to transition them to self-sufficient, independent living. Our goal is to move these clients into productive and healthy lifestyles. Our case management program extends to one year upon exiting from the program with the objective of solidifying the goals obtained while in the program. We include the following dimensions within the scope of our plan: education/job counseling and placement assistance, family counseling, life skills counseling (including nutrition, financial planning, self-esteem) child development training, transportation to 12-step drug and alcohol counseling as needed and housing services. Our clients have access to assistance in finding low-cost housing, advocacy relative to securing educational and income resource, access to family, mental health and substance abuse counseling, as well as assistance in resolving credit and/or legal issues. Clearwater has established an extensive system of networking and cooperation with public and private agencies including: Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), CalWorks Greater Avenues of Independence (GAIN); Dept. of Mental Health; Economic Development Agency Job Training Partnership; Emergency & Shelter Program of Riverside Co.; Ca. Employment Development Dept.; and Dept. of Public Health. Our program has a number of components that helps our low-income seniors (including those with mild disabilities) in need of non-medical services and long-term living services. For our seniors program, we offer: Meal preparation (including special diets); Companionship; Personal Care; Light Housekeeping; Changing of Linen; Help with governmental services such as Social Security/Veterans Administration; Transportation to various appointments (i.e. medical/dental/social services, fieldtrips, etc); Groceries; Senior Employment assistance through County Office on Aging; Access to physical and occupational therapy; assessment by a registered dietician. Resident's payment is assessed on a sliding-scale basis. No one is turned away due to an inability to pay. For those seniors who have not or been unable to navigate the complex application process for full use of their entitled benefits such as Social Security/Medicare, SSI, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, etc., Clearwater will provide transportation to appointments and assist our clients through the claims procedures. Clearwater will also assist seniors who are able to work, to register with the Office on Aging RSVP program which enables seniors to work in offices utilizing their skills and talents. The established relationships with these agencies and others, lessens the burden of any single agency to provide every function necessary to serve our target population. It is the network of all the agencies together in a collaborative effort that strengthens the services provided. Presently Clearwater has a total of four (4) housing units in operation located in: Colton, Fontana, Perris and Moreno Valley. At full capacity, our units can accommodate a total of 22 clients. Each house is staffed 24 hours with a house manager. Since the opening of our first housing unit in 2004, 75% of our transitional living residents have been able to secure permanent residency or moved into another local program that can provide greater services than Clearwater. It has been with great pride that Clearwater has been able to help coordinate these referrals and successes for our clients.
- Harvey Kessler
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