WHO WE ARE
The Redlands Charitable Resources Coalition, Inc. (RCRC), based in Redlands, California, is a recognized 501(c)(3) charity.
The RCRC is comprised of people from non-profit and faith-based organizations and concerned residents of Redlands, who have come together to spotlight the issue of homelessness and to find solutions for those issues.
THE RESOURCE GUIDE.
We print and distribute this publication every year. Guides are given to all faith based organizations in our city as well as the library, schools, businesses, individuals, the Redlands Chamber of Commerce, and the County TAD office in Redlands. With these Guides, all of our faith based organizations become "full service," no matter the issue presented by a person in crisis who calls them and asks for help. RCRC also encourages individuals to carry the Guides and hand them to panhandlers instead of giving cash. The Guide lists all the assistance organizations in Redlands that provide free food, free meals, free medical/dental/mental health service, shelter (temporary and long term), showers, laundry, job skills counseling, veterans services, addiction services, and counseling for the re-entry of former inmates of the justice system, to mention only a few.
There is also a map of downtown Redlands on which each provider's location is marked. The Map can be accessed by clicking the Redlands Map link above. The number next to each arrow on the Redlands Map corresponds to the number next to the name of the provider in the sections below and in the Resource Guide. Several providers are outside the area covered by the Map. Directions to their locations are included here.
The Reunification Program is a successful RCRC program that helps Redlands' homeless people who have lived in Redlands for at least one year to reunite with their family anywhere in the country via Greyhound Bus. An extensive vetting process is done by the Redlands Police Department’s Community Outreach Coordinator. The COC conducts an interview to verify Redlands residency, identify family, conducts a background check, and determines any outstanding arrest warrants. Once the homeless individual has been determined to qualify for the program, the RCRC purchases a one-way Greyhound bus ticket and provides the client with a travel bag with snacks. The client is escorted to the bus station by the COC where he/she is accompanied until boarding. Once the client reaches the destination, the COC confirms the client has reunited with his/her family. This is a program that is particularly advantageous to both the homeless person and to our city.
Statistics show that the cost to maintain one homeless person is between, $40,000 to $160,000 per year. The average cross-country Greyhound bus ticket is about $275.00. In 2017, we reunited 10 homeless individuals with family.
REDLANDS POLICE DEPARTMENT'S ANTI-PANHANDLING CAMPAIGN "POSITIVE CHANGE, NOT SPARE CHANGE"
The RCRC, in conjunction with the City of Redlands and the Redlands Police Department, began a poster campaign in April 2015 that urges people to NOT contribute money to panhandlers. A similar campaign has also been employed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff. The posters appear mostly in the windows of downtown Redlands businesses.
To some, the encouragement to not give money to panhandlers may appear cruel. Panhandlers always have a good story, and some of the stories are real. But the overwhelming opinion of those involved in homeless and crisis advocacy is that all too often, money contributed to panhandlers is used to purchase alcohol and/or illegal drugs. We believe by providing Resource Guides to panhandlers instead of giving them money will lead them to the proper resources to obtain help.
SHELTER PROGRAM (IN REORGANIZATION)
There has been a cold weather shelter (CWS) in Redlands for many years. Since about 2004, it was held at the Blessing Center (BC) in Redlands. In 2014, it moved to the Salvation Army (SA). The CWS provided a place for homeless people to get out of the cold and/or wet weather during the winter...December through March.
Just prior to the CWS program starting for the winter of 2017/2018, the SA attorneys ceased allowing the shelter at the Redlands facility, citing the need to have two SA employees in the building all night for every night the shelter would be open. Because of Redlands SA budget issues, the SA could not afford to have the required 2 employees on site and the RCRC was notified they would not host the CWS for the 2017 and 2018 winter.
The RCRC then obtained permission from Set Free Yucaipa to transport our Redlands homeless to their facility in Yucaipa each cold/rainy evening, leaving the Redlands SA at 7:30 p.m. This happened only because of the generosity of the ministry of Sandy and Ross Cooper, who allowed us to use one of their three 15-passenger vans. Volunteer drivers then retrieved the homeless guests at 6:00 a.m. the next morning and returned them to the SA in Redlands. Between 5-8 homeless folks availed themselves of this service each night. In previous years, the CWS housed 25-45 people at the BC and the SA.
PLANNING FOR THE WINTER OF 2018/2019
The RCRC has asked the larger churches in the downtown area to provide a room for the CWS. The room needs to be about 60' X 60' and it must meet Redlands fire codes (lit exit signs, functioning rest room, heat, smoke alarm, no blocked exits, and doors that can be locked. No church has come forth to provide such a facility.
Some contingencies are up for discussion:
1) In May 2018 the RCRC wrote a letter to the national commander of the SA to ask for a waiver of the 2 SA employee policy, and to offer the SA a liability policy and help with the utility bills for the nights the facility would be open as a CWS.
2) Assuming no organization offers the use of an adequate room for the CWS (including the appeal to the SA), the only option will be to continue with the CWS transportation program (assuming Set Free Yucaipa will still allow such and the ministry of Ross and Sandy Cooper can still allow the use of one of their vans).
4) If the Blessing Center is eventually able to relocate along the I-10 Corridor in downtown Redlands, the consideration also up for discussion is to have the CWS open every night during the Winter, or possibly every night of the year.
5) If the scenario in #4 comes to fruition, should we look at having the shelter open every night, 365 days, say on a trial basis for 90 days?
WHY HELP THEM WITH A SHELTER?
HUD has proven that the overall cost to the government (city, state, federal) to manage one homeless person is $40,000/year. This includes police who are assigned to the homeless population, the judicial system because of the frequency of arrest and incarceration ($70,000.00/year to house a prisoner in CA), and medical due to their proclivity to being injured and having no insurance. Giving homeless people a "place" to call home at night greatly reduces the danger to the rest of society because the propensity for criminal activity under the cover of darkness is reduced. It also offers them a modicum of stability in what is generally a somewhat chaotic and uncertain lifestyle.