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WSSN Stories

Business Profile: Westside Kinship Support Services

(L. Ofelia Gallegos, Francine Gatewood, Celeste Clemons, Lori McCarver, Brenda Daniels)

(L. Ofelia Gallegos, Francine Gatewood, Celeste Clemons, Lori McCarver, Brenda Daniels)

By Naomi Riggins

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Westside Christian Center Church, located at 785 N. Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino is the home of Westside Kinship Support Services. Many grandparents, and other relatives are providing care to children who are unable to live with their birth parents. When situations arise and a child can no longer safely reside with their birth parent/legal guardian, Children and Family Services (CFS) first looks for those who are familiar to the child to provide care.  Relatives and family are usually known to a child and by providing a safe and nurturing environment, can often help ease the trauma of separating from a birth parent.

Westside Kinship Support Services (WKSS) was created to ensure that caregivers who open their heart and their home will never feel alone and helpless. Our program provides a place where caregivers can receive a wealth of resources, training and support. Kinship’s focus is to strengthen and develop viable support systems for the caregiver which helps to promote a stable home for the lives in their care. WKSS offers weekly (morning and evening) support groups—Tuesday mornings at 10:00 am; and Thursday evenings at 6:00 pm. WKSS also offers fun and educational activities for youth and independent living skills for teens.

Caregivers often have special needs linked to age, poverty, poor health, social isolation, and inadequate access to information and services. As with most social services programs, our program receives limited funding. . With state tax dollars constantly in short supply, the pressure for cuts is always immediate and pressing. As a result, we endeavor to solicit funding each year from community partners. It is vital that the child welfare community becomes more aware of, and helps support, kinship families outside of the formal child welfare system. Child welfare policy makers and administrators can use information from this report to learn more about the demographic characteristics of kinship caregivers, as well as what services and supports they find most necessary and helpful. Instituting policies and programs that provide basic, front-end support could help prevent caregivers and kinchildren from approaching crisis.

If you provide 24/7 care for a relative child, there are benefits that you may be eligible to receive.  Caregivers that are living in San Bernardino and surrounding areas (Colton, Highland, Redlands, Loma Linda, Yucaipa and other areas) are encouraged to apply. Give them a call today at the Westside Kinship Support Services Office (909) 889-5757 or contact them through their Website:www.westsidechristiancenter.net or you may access additional information about Kinship at www.cakinship.org.


One of the Best Mechanics in the Inland Empire

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Enrique Medina

By Lou Coleman

If you are looking for a mechanic, whether it is electrical or repairs for your car or truck, then look no further. Enrique Medina is his name.  He is a very humble man who is honest, very reasonable, and gets the job done in a very timely manner. Call him up and tell him what you need. He will do it for you, and don’t forget to mention that you read about him in the Westside Story Newspaper. His telephone number is (909) 202-3512.

Letter to the Editor

CPT783QVEAAv2FeBy Keith McCarter

I attended the ICUC forum on October 6, 2015 for the San Bernardino City Council candidates.  I was shocked at some of their answers concerning the various topics.  Let us take for instance the topic of homelessness.    One of the candidates actually said, he would pay the police to round them up and send them to another city.  This answer reeked of insensitivity.

Others said it should not be the cities responsibility.  They suggested that it is a State and Federal problem.  I can understand their rationale with this answer, even though this answer is a bit short sided.

I must say that I was particularly impressed with Mr. Damon Alexander’s answer.  It was very simple.  He suggested to do what other cities have done.  Combine the services of the different social services departments, local, state and federal.  Then we provide the services the homeless needs and help them get back on their feet again.  I COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS CAME FROM THE MOUTH OF A REPUBLICAN.  But I was completely fascinated with the simplicity of his answer.

In actuality, many of the bigger cities have done this.  Also, Los Angeles city has just begun to combine these services as well.  One of the major problems with providing services to people is that the people do not know how to access the available services. By lowering this barrier, Mr. Alexander suggests that the homelessness situation will be minimized if we follow the lead of the larger cities.

One last point I would like to mention.  Politicians usually boast about what they have done to help other people.  I was fortunate enough to speak with a few members from Damon Alexander’s camp.  I was informed and witnessed him arranging an event to feed the homeless last Saturday on October 3rd.

So when a question arose about homelessness, he did not boast about him using his time, money and energy to feed the homeless at the park during the previous Saturday.  He simply gave a professional answer to a serious concern of the city.  Is this humbleness?  I do not know what it is, but it is very refreshing to witness a candidate taking so much of their person to help alleviate the social impact of a dire concern without trying to use it for political gain.  If elected this Damon Alexander will be a breath of fresh air to the City Council of San Bernardino.