A place to sleep, a place to eat, and a place to keep cool, is what many are seeking at the United Methodist Church, Riverside County’s newest cooling center.
A 24-hour cooling center is now open in Palm Springs, the center will be operated by Martha’s Village and Kitchen in partnership with the county.
“It’s the first time ever that an emergency summer shelter like this has appeared,” said George Sinatra, Major Gifts Officer with Martha’s Village and Kitchen.
The center is geared with 30 beds to assist clients, and Martha’s Village is also working on opening another cooling center later this summer at the old Palm Springs Boxing Club
Staff says 14 slots were filled the first night and they are expecting a full house the second day of being open.
“We will have the rest of the beds filled this evening, we already have the list of people, and that will be happening again between 3:30 and 6:00 until dinner is served,” explained Sinatra.
The 24-hour operation is a new attempt aimed at providing an environment that is less enabling while also providing needed resources.
Clients are welcomed to stay as long as needed, but if they miss a night they do run the risk of losing their spot.
“What’s unique is that we have case managers here throughout the day, so these residents are able to meet with their case managers on a daily or every other day basis, and that is to help us to help them,” added Sinatra.
The case managers already making a big difference on night one, as they helped reunite a Texas man with his wife.
“Oh it was a total blessing,” exclaimed Brandon Austin.
“I had to do a missing person report on him because I couldn’t find him, so I flew all the way from fort worth texas to find him, I just need to find him, and thank goodness from me doing that, he was able to get here and they called my right away, and they figured it out,” explained Leilani Long, Traveling From Texas.
Multiple organizations including Well In The Desert will continue operating from their original location till the end of July and will provide meals at the new cooling center two days out of the week.