The Southwest Advocacy Group (SWAG) is a grassroots non-profit organization. In short, our goal is to improve the well-being of residents in SW Gainesville. Specifically, we provide supports and resources for a self-reliant, resilient, and successful life.
WHO WE ARE
In February 2010, nine women came together and discussed their concerns for SW Gainesville. Previously, each woman had worked for years to bring services and support to the area. Then they formed SWAG, and they accomplished goals beyond their dreams. Many years later, our board now has a mix of residents and local advocates from all walks of life. Since the group began, SWAG has benefitted from the leadership of our beloved visionary and matriarch Joan Canton. To learn more about SWAG’s history, please watch the following video:
WHAT WE DO
SWAG works to address needs, provide opportunities, and improve the quality of life for the residents of the following neighborhoods:
- Majestic Oaks
- Holly Heights
- Harbor Cove
- Pine Meadows
- Hidden Oaks Mobile Home Park
- Gordon Manor
- Tower Oaks/Tower Oaks Glen
- Linton Oaks
SWAG works with community partners within and outside of Gainesville, FL. As a result, we have been able to support the following places and services:
The Family Resource Center opened in 2012. Since then, we have worked with our operating partner Partnership for Strong Families to provide place-based services at the Resource Center. These services build on existing assets, identify needs, and connect individuals and families to resources. For example, the Resource Center provides emergency food assistance, homework help, kids’ exercise programs, and MUCH more. In addition, we opened a renovated playground next to the Center in 2019.
Since 2015, the Alachua County Health Department and SWAG have offered health services at a clinic in the Linton Oaks neighborhood. In particular, residents can access pediatric and adult primary care, full-service dental care, a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) office. The clinic sees about 600 patients each month and is open for COVID-19 testing.
SWAG opened the CHILD Center in 2018. As a result, we have been able to support young children alongside the Anita Zucker Center for Early Childhood Excellence and O2B Kids. Specifically, the CHILD Center serves children aged 0 to 5 and their families. The CHILD Center provides a safe and healthy learning environment with the services like the following:
- Comprehensive childcare
- Early education curriculum
- Nutritious meals
- Creative play
Watch this slideshow to see some photos of SWAG’s early leadership, efforts, and achievements!
SWAG IN THE MEDIA
Click HERE to read a story about SWAG on NPR. Also, check out the videos below to learn about SWAG’s past initiatives.