Stay Safe at the Pool

With warmer weather, many of us are looking forward to beating the heat by spending lots of time at the pool this summer. It’s a great way to cool off, entertain yourself and your family, and it can be one of the cheaper summer activities. But while you’re relaxing at the pool, be sure to practice safety and precaution. The Red Cross recommends the following around the pool:

– Always swim with a buddy

– Stay within arm’s reach of any weak or inexperienced swimmer

– Do not rely on water wings, swim rings, or other inflatable items or toys as a substitute for adult supervision

– Stay away from drains and other openings that cause suction

Do you or a family member need to learn how to swim? The Red Cross also offers swim and water safety classes for ages 6 month to adult! You can find local class availability by visiting

Resources for Families and Seniors

During the COVID pandemic there were numerous rent subsidy programs offered by state, county, and city governments.  Many programs remain to help low-income rental households including the utility CARE programs, senior and family resource centers, food banks and more. 

Family resources in your county:

Orange –Families Forward: or call (949) 552-2727

Riverside – First 5: or call 1-(800) 266-3880

San Bernardino – Stars Behavioral Health Group: or call (909) 388-2222

Senior resources in your county:

Orange – Office on Aging: or call (855) 886-5400. 

Riverside – Office on Aging: or call (877) 932-4100

San Bernardino – Office on Aging: or call (909) 891-3900

SoCal – Council on Aging Southern California: or call (833) 772-6624

Can Mobile Homes/Manufactured Homes be Moved?

Trailers, mobile homes and manufactured homes are built in factories and transported over the road on axles and wheels to the site where they will be set up – whether that is in a rental community (mobile home park/manufactured housing community), or on privately owned land.  The manufactured home is set up on pillars, earthquake systems are installed on newer homes, the tires are removed, and siding or skirting is added.  Owners add steps to the front and back doors and, in many parks, carports and patios are installed with covers.  Driveways and landscaping are added and maintained by the mobile home owner renting the site. 

Once a mobile home is set in place, it can be moved the same way it was originally moved to the site.  If the home is multi-section (double or triple wide), the sections are divided and move along the roadway as single sections.  In many mobile home parks built in the 60s and 70s, the original homes are now 50 and 60 years old and are being replaced by newer manufactured housing.  Where do these older homes go?  Some go to Mexico or out of state, others to privately owned land or older mobile home parks in rural areas where they are fixed up and rented or sold.

Happy Easter!

“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.” – Janine di Giovanni

Easter is this Sunday, April 17. In celebration of the season and the spirit of the holiday, we’ve collected some quotes about that we hope resonate with you. And regardless of if you celebrate or not, we hope you find a sense of renewal and hope this Spring.

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” – Henri Matisse

“Let the resurrection joy lift us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness.” – Floyd W. Tomkins

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.” – Martin Luther

“Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, ‘Christ is risen,’ but ‘I shall rise.'” – Phillips Brooks

“Easter is a time when God turned the inevitability of death into the invincibility of life.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough

“We proclaim the resurrection of Christ when his light illuminates the dark moments of our existence.” – Pope Francis

Look for Local Fun

Feeling bored and cooped up at home? Your county and city probably offer a variety of locally organized events and activities in a range of prices. The lovely spring weather and longer days offer more opportunities to get out and do something.

We recommend checking a few places to find as many options as possible. Check your county and city websites for local events. Parks and Recreation departments often have more information on outdoor events and free to low-cost sport leagues, arts and crafts classes, and even educational opportunities. Senior Centers frequently have their own event schedules, sometimes even open to all ages.

Not sure where to start? Try your county Parks and Recreation website:

Money Saving Tips

With inflation causing increased prices for many day-to-day staples and services, many of us may be looking for more ways to save some money. Below we’ve compiled a few ways to help your money go further!

Turn Off Heat or Air to Unused Rooms

It may seem obvious, but limiting your energy expenditure only to areas you’re actively using can help reduce costs. So take advantage of the moderate Southern California weather and save money at the same time. For example, consider only using heat when its colder at night, or air conditioning during the day only when you are home and absolutely need it. You can be frugal with your heat and air either by manually turning it on and off or with the help of a programmable thermostat, several of which can be purchased for under $50.

Unplug Unused Devices

Even when off or not in use, most electronic devices still draw some energy when plugged into a power source. Plugging things in only when they’re needed can help reduce your monthly utilities expenses. You can use power strips or surge protectors with multiple smaller electronics and disconnect all of them simultaneously by unplugging the surge protector from the wall.

No Partial Loads

Avoid wasting energy, water, and detergent with a half-full dishwasher or washing machine. Fill the machine all the way before running it to get your money’s worth. Also consider air drying clothing – it’s free, saves energy, and will reduce wear and tear on your clothes, making them last longer.

Thrift, Consignment, and Yard Sales

Take advantage of lower cost options from your local thrift and consignment shops and yard sales. Whether shopping for something special or replacing a staple item, these options often offer items at a steep discount from traditional stores. You could also utilize these methods to declutter your life and maybe even make some extra money! Many people sell items they longer need to consignment shops or from their homes. In addition to traditional yard sale methods, there are many online resources to help you sell your belongings. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace allow you to advertise your wares locally, while Poshmark, Mercari, ThredUp, and Depop are websites allowing you to sell to people farther away. If you choose to donate your unwanted or unused items, large items or a high volume of items may be tax deductible. Some thrift stores even give you a coupon for the store when you donate items!

Make Taxes Less Stressful

We’re in the last legs of tax season. The filing deadline for your 2021 return (Tax Day) is Monday, April 18, 2022. If you haven’t already filed, now is the time! Tax filing can be intimidating, but both the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have lots of resources to make it easier. Did you know you file many tax returns for FREE? Or that qualifying taxpayers and the elderly can get FREE tax return help, including basic return preparation?

Free File

There are now Free File options available for both federal taxes and California state taxes. There are some restrictions on who can use the free filing programs, like income limits or the complexity of your return, but we recommend checking first to see if you’re eligible for this option. For more information about Free File, visit for California and for federal.

Free Tax Help

The IRS has a program where qualified taxpayers can get help from volunteers in preparing basic returns for FREE. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is available to people who make $58,000 or less, those with disabilities, and limited English-speakers. Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) is available for those 60 years and older and specializes in issues unique to seniors, like questions about pensions and retirement issues. All volunteers must have demonstrated knowledge of tax law and are a reliable and trustworthy resource.

To find a VITA site near you, use the online location tool or call 800-906-9887.

Most TCE sites are operated by the AARP Foundation Tax Aide program. To find a TCE location, use the AARP TCE online location tool or call 888-227-7669.

Other Tips

You will need to include information about any Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payments) on your 2021 return. The IRS is mailing special letters with this information, or you find it in your online account. If you were eligible to receive Economic Impact Payments, but are still waiting on some of your payout, you may need to file a return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, even if you do not normally file taxes. The deadline to file or request an extension is Monday, April 18, 2022.

For additional information and tax filing resources, visit the Franchise Tax Board for California taxes and the IRS for federal taxes.

Why it’s Happy St. Paddy’s Day, not Patty’s Day

It’s an easy mistake to make, and you may not even be able to hear the difference when spoken, but the correct abbreviation for St. Patrick’s Day is St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day.

The difference bothered one man, Marcus Campbell, enough that he even created to help spread the word. You may be wondering why the slightly different spellings matter, and it all comes down to the name. Paddy is a derivative of the Irish version of the name Patrick: Pádraig. Whereas Patty is used as a nickname for Patricia, or another word for a burger!

Reactions to Patty are mixed. Some, like Mr. Campbell, have made a mission of correcting people on the distinction. And though you may still get some eye-rolls or a light ribbing from your Irish friends for using Patty, plenty of others are unbothered by the mistake. Wherever you fall, you can at least now be part of the crowd in the know and have a new bit of trivia to share!

Affordable Housing vs Low-Income Housing

There is lots of talk these days about the need for more affordable housing in the Southern California region.  It is important to recognize the difference between “low-income” housing and “affordable” housing. 

Low-income housing is subsidized by the government.  There are several projects throughout the region that are monitored by local government housing authorities.  An on-line search or call to the regional housing authorities will provide a list of available low-income housing rental projects.  Some projects are for veterans, seniors and others for all-ages.  There are also low-income for-sale housing projects sponsored by housing authorities and by organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

In these low-income housing developments, renters or home buyers must meet strict income guidelines.  Only low-income can qualify to live in these developments.  The income is determined by the income of the entire family and includes funds in the bank and investments.

Affordable housing, on the other hand, is not limited to low-income renters or purchasers.  There is no limit to the amount of income a person or family has.  It is their choice to live in the available affordable housing.  Apartments, condominiums, and mobile home parks/manufactured housing communities are considered affordable housing stock in the various individual jurisdictions housing elements. 

Mobile home Parks/Manufactured Housing Communities, offer a lifestyle choice that attracts a wide range of renters and buyers.  Mobile Home Park residents are both home owners and renters.  They own the mobile home or manufactured home and rent the site or lot within a Mobile Home Park to locate their home.  The Park is a little city that provides all of the services and facilities.  The owner of the Park is responsible, just like a city, to maintain the streets, utility systems, public areas and facilities. 

Living in Mobile Home Park is a lifestyle choice, not necessarily an income driven decision.  Residents living in Parks may be high income retirees or may have moderate incomes.  Many Mobile Home Parks are senior housing communities and attract seniors who are down-sizing after selling a home. 

Other Parks are attractive to families because, unlike an apartment and many condominiums, most lots/sites rented in a Mobile Home Park have yards, patios, and parking spaces adjacent to the home.  In addition, these communities often offer many amenities such as a clubhouse and pool, which are attractive to both seniors and families.

There is no doubt that the cost of housing in many areas of Southern California is higher than many other regions.  Inland counties such as Riverside and San Bernardino, a region referred to as the Inland Empire, offer considerably more reasonable housing than most areas of coastal Orange County, as an example.  While rents in a typical Orange County Mobile Home Park may be over $1,000 a month, a similar Park in areas of the Inland Empire rents are as low as $400 a month. 

In conclusion, when Cities and other government agencies are talking about the need for more affordable housing, they are NOT referring to building more Mobile Home Parks or Manufactured Housing Communities because on the same amount of land they can build many more units.  They are talking about and planning to build more and more high-rise apartments or condominiums. 

Living in a mobile home park provides a unique lifestyle for all ages and all income groups.

Avoid Tax Scams

Scammers love to use current events to try and trick people out of money. Since tax season is starting, you can expect that IRS scams will also be reappearing. There are several common tactics that IRS scammers use, but the IRS does NOT do. Knowing these red flags can help keep your money and personal information safe.

The IRS does NOT:

•    Initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text message, or social media to request personal or financial information. Always be wary of someone requesting sensitive information through these channels.

•    Call to demand immediate payment with a specific method. We’ve mentioned before that scammers like to have you send money with gift cards and wire transfers. Anyone insisting on these forms of payment should automatically raise a red flag.

•    Demand you pay taxes without option to question or appeal the amount. Scammers frequently use pressure tactics, like insisting you pay immediately and without question.

•    Threaten to bring in local police, immigration, or other law enforcement to arrest you for non-payment. This is a scare tactic scammers use in hopes that you don’t question their claims and pay up quick.

•    Revoke driver’s licenses, business licenses, or immigration status. This is another scare tactic used to stress and trick you into paying before you have time to think critically.

What the IRS DOES do:

•   Mail the first bill to any taxpayer who owes taxes.

•   Instructs payments be made to the “United States Treasury”.

•   Provide two forms of official credentials for in-person visits.

•   Notify you by mail if your tax debt has been sent to a private collection agency.
The collection agency will also send you a contact letter with information on how to resolve the debt.

•   Notify you by mail before attempting to make contact over the phone regarding an audit.

For more information about tax scams, visit the IRS website.