Palm Springs City Council Set to Discuss Homelessness

Max Rodriguez

A viewer is worried homelessness is Palm Springs is not being dealt properly by elected officials, just this week the city pool was closed for a day because of a peculiar incident the viewer believes may be connected to the transient community nearby.

According to the Palm Springs Mayor, Robert Moon, the city is booming.

Moon said, “Just eight new restaurants have opened just recently in Downtown, we’ve really become a foodie destination.”

But as the city expands, big city problems are coming to the surface. One of those problems is homelessness and making matters worse, Roy’s Desert Resource Center, one of the few homeless shelters in Palm Springs is no longer open.

Mayor Pro Tem, J.R. Roberts, said the lack of shelter space is an issue for the city.

He said, “So there are fewer beds and fewer shelters and what does that do, it forces homeless to stay on the street.”

Sunrise Park is a popular place to rest for those without a home. However, the city pool adjacent to the park saw a rare form of vandalism.

The city’s spokesperson, Amy Blaisdell, explained, “Unfortunately we did have someone come into the premises illegally and defecate.”

It is still not determined if a transient was responsible and the Palm Springs Police Department continues to investigate.

Data from the Riverside County Point in Time shows Palm Springs had the second highest homeless population with 138 people unsheltered in 2017.

Roberts said, “Palm Springs has been more proactive in the concept of rapid rehousing, which gets people off the street permanently.”

He said 260 people were housed between 2016 and 2017, yet he said homelessness will continue to be a big challenge for the city council.

A court ruling affecting nine states including California said homeless people cannot be punished for sleeping on public property if there is not enough space at a local shelter.

“We’re going to start talking immediately and every city is,” Roberts said. “We don’t really know the meaning of it yet, but again the real challenge is how do we keep our parks safe, and clean and how are we able to maintain them.”

The Palm Springs City Council will discuss homeless in its city on tonight’s meeting, as well as during this year’s state of the city.

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