The Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG) is a grassroots organization that works to improve opportunities and quality of life in the Tower Road corridor in the 32607 zip code in Gainesville, Florida. We address the needs of the SWAG community by connecting individuals to services and resources through our advocacy and collaboration with agencies and community partners. SWAG’s unique partnerships have led to the creation of a family resource center, a playground and a health clinic in the heart of the SWAG neighborhoods. Our newest project is the CHILD Center, an early learning center.
SWAG Family Resource Center
The SWAG Family Resource Center opened in June 2012. SWAG and Partnership for Strong Families, the Resource Center’s operating partner, work together at the Resource Center to provide place-based services that strengthen families and communities through building on existing assets, identifying needs and connecting to resources within the broader community. All programs, services, and resources at the Resource Center support five Protective Factors that have been shown to reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect when present in families.
SW Health Clinic
SWAG, together with the Alachua County Health Department, the Alachua County Commissioners and numerous private entities have also established the SW Health Clinic to meet the area’s health needs. Prior to the opening of the SW Health Clinic, transportation created a major obstacle to health care access; taking more than 1.5 hours and three buses for residents to get to the Health Department, the sole place that 23 percent of residents obtain care. The SW Health Clinic opened in March 2015 and provides pediatric and adult primary care, full-service dental care, as well as a WIC office that provides nutritional programs to women, infants and children. The clinic is seeing close to 500 patients each month. Since it’s opening, the clinic has performed over 55,000 medical services and over 18,000 dental services.
The CHILD Center
SWAG’s newest project is the Children’s Health Imagination Learning and Discovery (CHILD) Center, which will educate, support and coach families and caregivers so they can be their children’s first teachers. The CHILD Center will also serve as an evidence-based model demonstration center for Alachua County’s parents and childcare professionals. The CHILD Center’s focus will be on increasing access to quality early learning opportunities for our SWAG community. We will accomplish this goal through our partnership with UF’s Anita Zucker Center and Baby Gator. Our center will work to meet the physical, cognitive and social-emotional needs of children by providing high-quality preschool programming and curriculum in a safe and healthy environment located right in the heart of this underserved community.
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