Support from Casa Blanca Home of Neighborly Service.

A focus of Casa Blanca Home of Neighborly Service is on preventing homelessness as well as addressing the basic needs of the working poor in Riverside. Often in partnership with local churches and charities, volunteers and staff coordinate support, ranging from shelter to free food from pantries and other self-sufficiency.

When seeking help, people will need to apply, and have proof of income, expenses, and other supporting documentation that identifies the hardship. Case managers from the charity have limited funds and resources to work with, so they want to ensure only the most deserving receive help. They also partner with the United Way and other non-profits for funding.

Another focus in on assisting families or individuals that are facing a one time hardship or emergency. So applicants will need to have a plan in place to pay the bills or expenses such as rent on their own in the future. While case managers from Casa Blanca Home of Neighborly Service can provide guidance and advice, the financial support is provided as a hand up and not a hand out, so applicants need to be able to become self-sufficient in the near future.

Emergency shelters in southern California serve the homeless. There are local centers for single women or parents with children, veterans, seniors, and others. The locations provide clients with lodging that can last for a short period of time, but there will also be nutritious meals, personal hygiene items, and more.

The goal of any housing program in Riverside, whether shelter or something else, is to offer a wide range of supportive services to help residents establish permanent stability. So staff and resources are dedicated to addressing the underlying issues of homelessness by including programs such as GED preparation or testing, job training and more. The homeless can also learn about the availability of affordable housing in the region.

The fact is that for some people, personal and life circumstances make establishing their own home a difficult task. So lower income residents may lack the work experience or education in today's competitive job market, so they may need assistance developing critical life skills or maintaining employment. Others lack confidence and that support in recognizing their own dignity or self-worth.




Most of the clients of the shelter that show self-sufficiency are provided with case management. This can include, but is not limited to, access to workshops and pre-GED support. Staff will also provide residents with access to other assistance programs and social services in the Riverside community that may assist in breaking down the barriers to permanent housing stability.

Emergency financial assistance may be offered. Casa Blanca Home of Neighborly Service assists income qualified clients in obtaining either utility bill or rental assistance through a variety of programs. There may also be other support as well, such as for medications or employment needs, such as transportation.

Most of the aid is from partnerships. Casa Blanca Home of Neighborly Service works closely with area churches, charities such as the United Way, and other groups. Client advocacy is provided in the procurement of rent and security deposit funds or applications to energy bill assistance, such as LIHEAP. There is also assistance in the acquisition of home furnishings, food, clothing, and more.

To help establish self-sufficiency, qualified low income families are provided with access and referral to supportive services such as GED preparation, Outreach, individual and family advocacy, educational assistance, Life Skills and more.  An individual assessment is completed to determine the needs of the family and a formalized service plan is developed to address them.

Emergency food from a pantry or soup kitchen is available. The soup kitchen sites in Riverside County are open to the public and the only information collected is the number of meals served each day. The food pantries from Casa Blanca are more restrictive, as they will often have income and other limits in place. Some individuals, such as the home bound and seniors, may also benefit from food delivery services.  Customers to this Meals on Wheels program are referred by different sources.

For more information, in particular referrals, the Casa Blanca Home of Neighborly Service is located at 7680 Casa Blanca Street, Riverside, California 92504, and the main phone number is 951-688-3043.



By Jon McNamara

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