Ward 1 - December Update

Ward 1 Update
Councilmember Edwards at the Southern California Air Resource Board Open House

Dear neighbor,

It's a season for celebration in Ward 1: the repaving of Magnolia Ave. has begun, and up to 8,000 people are out and about for Festival of Lights per night. CARB's dedication celebration (photographed at the left) brings the promise of cleaner air and positioning Riverside as the hub of clean and green. Read on to meet Riverside's new homeless solutions officer, and learn about 28 new recuperative care and mental health care beds. Finally, stay up to date with important community development block grant application deadlines (1/25/22), a City Sponsorship grant workshop, recreational opportunities in our parks, and new library hours

Ward 1 is wrapping up 2021 on a strong note. I celebrated my second year in office (check out my annual report in case you missed it).

Have a safe and happy holiday season and a happy new year.

In service,


Office hours December 15th from 6:30-8

Join us for our last office hours of the year at the Main Library on December 15th from 6:30-8 PM. This special Holiday edition of office hours combines office hours and mini office hours for an hour and a half of conversation. Paloma and I hope to see you there (and we'll be bringing the hot cocoa!)

Magnolia Ave. Paving

Councilmember Edwards with City team members marking the beginning of the Magnolia Avenue Repaving

It's the gift that will keep on giving for years to come! I was thrilled to kick off the long-awaited Magnolia repaving project this week by chatting with Danny Cwiak and Maria Kostecki from Public Works (both proud Riverside residents) and by cheering on the first saw cut. Watch videos here to learn more: what to expect and what it takes to do a project this big. 

Meet Lorissa Villareal,
Riverside's new Homeless Solutions Officer.

CM Edwards and Lorissa Villareal, Riverside's newest Homeless Solutions Officer

Lorissa is a Riversider with a doctorate in social work and years of experience in nonprofits and fundraising. Lorissa's competitive skillset is what Riverside needs to proactively address homelessness. Read more about Lorissa here. She starts in her new role this week. 

Helping formerly hospitalized homeless folks
off the streets for good

Helping Hearts Opening

Located at the Hulen Campus in Ward 1, Helping Hearts brings 28 new beds for homeless patients to heal and receive mental healthcare after being discharged from the hospital. Helping Hearts is the first place in Riverside that pairs physical and mental healthcare in this way, providing a long-term solution to chronic homelessness. 

What else is happening in Ward 1? Highlights:

  • Illumination Foundation's 50 bed recuperative care program;
  • City Net's Pallet Shelter Community at the Hulen Campus;
  • Mercy House and the City are teaming up for a 23-bed Bridge Housing project at Hulen Place (Early 2022);
  • In the Spring of 2022, the U.C. Riverside School of Medicine will officially open a clinic at the Hulen Access Center.

And learn how you can be part of the solution by volunteering for the 2022 Point in Time Count. (See graphics below)

Teams doing outreach in Riverbottom

70% of the people living in the river bottom want housing. 

Data is power. A team of 30 people from PSET, Step Up, City Net, Path of Life, Riverside County Justice Outreach, and Riverside County Housing Authority, surveyed three Riverbottom encampments in Ward 1 this month. Of the 44 people they spoke with, 70% said they wanted housing, and most have never had contact with someone who can help.

Our teams met a new mom, people with beloved pets, folks new to the river bottom, and people who have lived there for more than 20 years. 

The river bottom is an unsafe place to live. Over the last year and a half, I’ve worked with City and regional partners on a strategy to connect people with different kinds of housing, to care for the fragile habitats around the river, and to prevent fires. The results won’t happen overnight, but this census gets us one step closer to providing the right solutions. Tune into the next Housing and Homeless Committee Meeting to hear about next steps. 

All Eyes on Mulberry Village

Councilmember Edwards at the Mulberry Village Build

The Mulberry Village Project received a runner-up award for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership 9th Annual Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet Awards. The League of California Cities spotlighted this project as a tool to reduce barriers to affordable housing. These 10 cottages will be homes to families in need of housing. I am proud to have this newest innovation in my own neighborhood.

Coming to the dais

*For meeting information, videos, agendas, and e-comment submissions, visit us here.

Give the Gift of Ward 1 News

Do you like our newsletter? Share it with your neighbors and have them sign up here for their very own copy every month. 

Adaptive Sports Day

Miracle on Main St. December 12th - 8 AM onward

Miracle on Main Street takes place on December 12th from 8 AM-12 PM. Join us for a day of giving and fun!

City Sponsorship application info

YOUTH Point in Time Count sign up

PIT Count Sign Up

New Main Library Hours - Tues-Sat 10 AM-6 PM

Scam Alert