Riverside County, Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Desert Hot Springs Partner to Open Three Emergency Nighttime Cooling Centers Throughout the Summer Months to Help Those in Need Escape the Heat
WESTERN COACHELLA VALLEY – Homeless residents in need of overnight shelter to escape the Coachella Valley’s extreme summer heat will finally get some relief!
After a successful trial of an emergency nighttime cooling center in Palm Springs from June 11 14, Riverside County and the cities of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City are pleased to announce a partnership to open three much-needed overnight cooling centers in the western Coachella Valley this summer, beginning July 1, 2019 with operations running until September 30th. The sites will be managed by the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, under an operating agreement with the Coachella Valley Association of Governments.
The cooling centers will operate seven days a week from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. In addition to providing relief from the extreme heat, these centers will also act as access points to utilize “ Housing First” approaches to link those experiencing homelessness with ongoing social services.
The Cooling Center locations are as follows:
• Desert Hot Springs: Word of Life Fellowship Center, 66-290 Estrella, Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
• Cathedral City: Community Presbyterian Church, 38-088 Chuperosa Lane, Cathedral City, CA 92234
• Palm Springs: Demuth Community Center, 3601 E. Mesquite Avenue, Palm Springs, CA 92264 – this location will change to 225 S. El Cielo (a City building, behind the Police Station) within the next couple of weeks pending minor renovations).
Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez was able to secure $200,000 from the county’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program for the startup costs of the initiative.
Additionally, the Desert Healthcare District Foundation has set up a Summer Homeless Survival Fund to solicit donations from the public for operational expenses for the cooling center initiative. Donations can be made online at: Desert Healthcare District’s Summer Homeless Survival Fund. At Tuesday night’s Foundation Board meeting, the Board of Directors agreed to establish a $50,000 matching fund program for any private donations received.
This collaborative effort is part of a larger, regional initiative already underway among the county/cities of the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, in partnership with nonprofit and faith based organizations to assist residents experiencing homelessness throughout the Coachella Valley.