Donald Roberts, who’s sheltering at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission shared his relief as he now has a bed to sleep on. However, two weeks ago he was afraid that he and his family could contract COVID-19 while camping on the streets.
“They were nice to take us in and feed us and give us clothes. it’s scary to be living out there right now,” said Roberts.
Since the shutdown, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission has been struggling to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
They also reported that a surge in homelessness has caused an overflow of residents looking for shelter in their facility.
“When COVID-19 hit and this pandemic surged and the restrictions came from CDC, we couldn’t respect six feet social distancing. We also couldn’t sleep more than 8 people. That means 42 people would have been out the streets,” said Marc McGowan, who works with addiction rehabilitation at CVM.
Now the city of Palm Springs along with Riverside County have partnered up a plan to bring several emergency shelters and transform a Palm Springs hotel into a social distancing safeguard for the homeless community.
“We just received our 10 million dollars from the state of California to address homelessness. We had been awarded that money but we have just now received it. So we have been looking for opportunities to partner with the county to provide permanent supportive housing and transitional housing,” said Councilmember Christy Holstege, with the city of Palm Springs.
The majority of the homeless community have not only had to deal with the emotional stress of losing their home in the midst of a pandemic, but are now also trying to survive living in the streets in triple digit heat.
“We’re seeing a lot of people losing their home, losing their apartments and becoming homeless with their children.
They need help, because the jobs, the businesses closed and not all reopened,” said McGowan.
Adding even more urgency to a problem that precedes the pandemic.