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SCAG announces grants totaling $425,000 to promote affordable housing and equitable growth strategies in the Inland Empire

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The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) announced grant awards totaling $425,000 to five nonprofits and community-based organizations in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties to promote equitable growth strategies.

The grant awards ranged from $75,000 to $100,000 and will cover a range of activities related to housing policy and land use. In all, SCAG announced $1.25 million in grants to eligible organizations throughout Southern California under its Call for Collaboration program. SCAG is dedicating $1 million of Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grant funds toward the program, with additional funding from the California Community Foundation (CCF), the Chan Zuckerberg Institute and the Irvine Foundation.

Call for Collaboration is part of SCAG’s ongoing commitment to combat racism, social injustice and an equity gap that has reached historic levels. Last July, SCAG declared racism a public health crisis and in the months since has led regionwide discussions on ways to eliminate barriers that reduce opportunity for millions of Southern Californians. SCAG staff is working with a newly formed Special Committee on Equity and Social Justice to create an action plan to promote racial and social equity and an inclusive recovery strategy.

“The grant program is a significant step toward ensuring that as we promote accelerated housing production, we have the framework in place to close the growing racial equity gap and maximize the opportunities that are in front of us as a region. For Southern California to fully recover from the economic devastation of the pandemic, we need to make sure we’re promoting equitable growth strategies and create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” said Rex Richardson, President of SCAG and Vice Mayor of Long Beach.

Clint Lorimore, First Vice President of SCAG and Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Eastvale, praised the San Bernardino and Riverside County organizations that received funding for bringing positive change to the communities they serve.

“Addressing the ongoing housing crisis in the Inland Empire and all throughout California is critically important. Providing tools and collaborating with community partners is vital to this effort and would not be possible without coalition building at the grassroots level,” Lorimore said.

The five IE grant recipients are:

Lift to Rise. Scope: Fund planning activities to advance the production of affordable housing units in the Coachella Valley.

Inland Equity Community Land Trust. Scope: Collaboration with the City of Jurupa Valley to champion affordable housing and elevate the voices of coalition partners in housing policy development.

Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire Inc. Scope: Expand upon current work with the Pueblo Unido Community Development Corp. to create an accessory dwelling unit initiative.

Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services/Inland SoCal Housing Collective. Scope: Create solutions to improve housing outcomes for renters, homebuyers, homeowners and those experiencing homelessness through education, advocacy and access to resources.

Just San Bernardino Collaborative. Scope: The collaboration of nine community-based organizations working together in the City of San Bernardino to engage residents and draft the People’s Plan for Economic Inclusion.

 “Each of these projects provides an incredible opportunity to address economic and social disparity at the community level, and bring new voices to policy discussions while also promoting the power of collaboration,” said Kome Ajise, SCAG Executive Director. “We look forward to monitoring their progress, and encouraging similar efforts across the region.”

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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Jackson Family Human Services to Host First Annual Care Fair

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The fair will provide comfort and security to children affected by trauma

Jackson Family Human Services will be hosting its first annual Care Fair on December 17, 2022. The fair will go from 10 am-2 pm at the Redlands Community Center Gymnasium, which located at 111 W Lugonia Ave, Redlands, CA. This event is free and open to the public and will feature hot chocolate, cookies, photos with Santa, and gifts for children. The care fair will help bring comfort and security to children going through or who have experienced trauma.

The Care Fair will benefit the Resiliency Institute for Childhood Adversity (RICA) clinic of Loma Linda. The RICA Clinic was designed to address community needs for child abuse. The clinic is a collaboration of many local agencies working together to provide forensic interviews and evidentiary medical examinations to evaluate child abuse allegations. This coordinated approach doesn’t require an abused child to recount their experiences to several agencies in numerous interviews. The RICA Clinic is the first stop for these young children who are often in shock. Blankets, plush toys, clothing, and backpacks are grounding and provide a sense of security and comfort. Any donations of these items made to Jackson Family Human Services will go towards The RICA Clinic to help continue their efforts in supporting these young children.

Donations can be made at the following dropoff locations:

  • Jackson Family Human Services Victorville – 15490 Civic Drive Victorville, CA 92392, Suite 206
  • Jackson Family Human Services Apple Valley – 18522 Outer Hwy 18 N Apple Valley, CA 92307, Suite 208
  • Behavior Genius – 1500 S Haven Ave Ste 250, Ontario, CA 91761
  • Cafe Organix – 420 E Hospitality Ln Suite A10, San Bernardino, CA 92408
  • Alliance Human Services – 818 N Mountain Ave Suite 206, Upland, CA 91786

“We are proud to help fulfill a big wish list item for the team at the Resiliency Institute of Childhood Adversity (RICA) at Loma Linda Hospital – thousands of fleece blankets and plush toys! It seems like a simple thing, but this is what brings comfort to children who come to RICA through the forensic investigation process as a result of traumatic experiences that may include child abuse, witnessing acts of violence, maltreatment, or other forms of trauma,” said Harry Jackson, CEO of Jackson Family Human Services. 

He added, “In addition to RICA, the CareFair will also provide toys, school supplies, clothing, and new gift items to several partner organizations in the greater San Bernardino community.”

For more information, visit carefair2022.com

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Tickets on sale now for Southern California’s #1 Rated Oktoberfest

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Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest Welcomes the Return of a Band from Germany

Tickets to the 52nd Annual Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest are now on sale. Organizers of Southern California’s #1 Oktoberfest are ready to deliver another authentic Bavarian-style celebration for nine consecutive weekends from September 10 to November 5. Ticket options range from general admission, preferred seating options, Sunday Family-Fun Packages, and Über Bürgermeister Party Packs. Other big news for Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest is Frankenrebellen Express, a band direct from Bavaria, will perform two weekends in October. 

“This marks the first time since 2019 that we were actually able to get a band direct from Germany to travel to the United States,” said Monica Marini, director of Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest. “The Frankenrebellen Express will definitely bring the spirit of Munich’s Oktoberfest right here in Big Bear Lake.” 

Frankenrebellen Express derives from the Franconia region of Bavaria. They’re slated to perform in Big Bear October 1-2 and the following weekend, October 7-9. They sing with thick German accents and deliver exuberant party music that’s driven by a hearty, rhythmic oompah-pah sound. The other seven weekends are booked with Southern California’s top German-style bands, which includes Die Sauerkrauts, Hazelnuss Das Music, Da Stuben Buden, and Ladyhosen featuring international yodeling sensation Kathrin Jakob. These bands perform on the main stage inside the Big Bear Lake Convention Center. Each band is renowned to stir up good times with a mix of popular cover songs such as “Sweet Caroline,” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” original tunes, and of course traditional Bavarian sing-alongs like “Ein-Prosit,” “Hands to Heaven,” and “Das Esellied” that are certain to bring plenty of smiles and cheers. A second stage located outside, in the High-Altitude Beer Garden, features a variety of regional bands that perform rock ‘n’ roll and country music. For the full entertainment lineup visit BigBearEvents.com.   

“We have two stages of continuous live entertainment, which provides a lively atmosphere throughout the day,” added Marini. “We give our guests plenty of activities to partake in too, from ‘Ein Prosit’ toasts, kids’ games, a mechanical bull, log-sawing contests and various interactive group dances that everyone seems to enjoy such as the ‘Fliegerlied’ and ‘Chicken Dance.’”

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest represents Southern California’s most authentic Oktoberfest, which is well-known as the closest thing to the original celebration in Munich, Germany. Just like the original, Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest starts its celebration in September and goes into October (due to popular demand, it now stretches into November). What really makes this Oktoberfest more special than others is Big Bear Lake is situated in an Alpine environment with evergreens trees, mountain vistas, and a town-square village. This environment naturally reflects the scenery and heritage of the Bavarian Alps of Germany. At 6,750’ altitude, it marks the highest altitude Oktoberfest in California, and second highest in the U.S. The food served at Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest respects German traditions to the tee, including grilled bratwursts and knockwurst sausages, fresh-made colossal pretzels, home-style sauerkraut, German potato salad served warm, Bavarian-style potato dumplings, and apple strudel served with a warm vanilla sauce.  

Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest even serves the very same beer poured at Munich’s Oktoberfest! There are two full-service bars located inside the Convention Center and three different beer gardens outside, including the Tiki Bar, which provides a variety of micro brews and craft beer, ideal for beer connoisseurs.

The true spirit of Bavaria comes to life in Big Bear Lake for nine consecutive weekends, which starts September 10 and ends November 5, 2022. The weekend festivities take place at Big Bear Lake Convention Center, located at 42900 Big Bear Blvd. Event times are Saturdays 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sundays 12 noon to 6 p.m. and Fridays (October only) 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. This year’s event has limited capacity, and some dates are anticipated to sell out. Saturdays in October have set arrival entry time blocks to ensure everyone with a pre-purchased tickets get a speedy entrance into the event. Tickets are on a first come, first served basis, and guests are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase tickets online. Ticket options range from general admission, preferred seating options, Sunday Family-Fun Packages, and Über Bürgermeister Party Packs. Ticket prices for Big Bear Lake Oktoberfest vary per ticket type and per date. For complete details regarding tickets, pricing, and general information, log on to BigBearEvents.com, or call 909-585-3000.

For all there is to see and in Big Bear visit BigBearGuide.com
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Members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum urge support of SB 1338

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Bipartisan Group of Riversiders Give CARE Court Stamp of Approval

How much longer can we humanely avert our eyes, ignoring the mentally incapacitated people languishing on our streets?  In a recent poll conducted by Suffolk University, 90% of respondents believed that the U.S. is facing a “full-blown mental health crisis”, and in a California Health Policy Survey, Californians’ identified their top priority policy as ‘ensuring people with severe mental health disorders can get treatment” (2020).   

Californians have an opportunity to address this seemingly bottomless crisis. The Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment Act (CARE), also known as Senate Bill 1338, empowers family members, first responders, and behavioral health providers with an avenue to petition a civil court on behalf of a loved one or community member that is incapable of caring for themselves. This potentially allows families and local communities the ability to initiate a CARE plan to provide behavioral health care, including medication, housing, and other services, to adults with psychotic disorders and people who lack medical decision-making capacity. A critically important part of the plan is the appointment of both a public defender and a personal advocate to help guide participants and ensure individual rights are protected.  

Californians across the political spectrum agree that it is time to make a bold commitment to transforming our broken mental health system to help our state’s most vulnerable residents and we have an opportunity to do so now. Arguably, California has not seen meaningful mental health reforms since 1972, partially because we continue to allow a quest for perfection to negate a commitment to incremental progress.

As diverse members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum, we urge you to join us in supporting this legislation.  Please contact your state representative this week (https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov) to urge a yes vote on SB 1338.

In October 2021, Riverside’s Mayor, Patricia Lock Dawson, convened a group of 14 community members with differing political ideologies to help drive solutions for the crises amongst those in homeless situations with serious mental health conditions. The group felt passionate that state-level mental health reforms were needed, including tools that would allow families to compel their family members with psychotic and addiction disorders into treatment.  The CARE Court legislation (SB 1338) is a step forward in this direction. 

Members of Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson’s Bipartisan Forum are: Dr. Cheryl-Marie Osborne Hansberger, Chani Beeman, Steve Johnson, Ana Miramontes, Rico Alderette, Tisa Rodriguez, Chuck Avila, Sheila Kay Riley, Ruben Ayala, Janice Rooths, Keith Sklarsky, Ana Lee, Dr. Regina Patton-Stell

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