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Roy’s Desert Resource Center facing tough times

Roy’s Desert Resource Center is in desperate need of money, to keep helping the homeless. The tough economic climate has put a limit on how many people they can reach out to. But a new foundation is hoping to turn things around and change more lives.

We met Chris Rose, a 19 year-old, living at Sunrise Park in Palm Springs. We asked him what his dream is. He said, “Just to make some money and get out of here. I’ve been out here since I was 13, so the only thing I can see is out of here.” He attended Raymond Cree Middle School, but dropped out in 7th grade. He’s just one of many living on the streets of downtown.

Arlene Rosenthal, President of Well in the Desert says, “They’re hanging out at Sunrise Park, in droves.” She says the city asked them to leave Sunrise Park, after serving the homeless for 7 years. “They didn’t want us at the park they thought it if we left the problems would stop and I think they have even more people with baskets they’re now.”

People like Rhonda Ramirez, who’s been living under a tree at the park for a year. She tells us her life wasn’t always like this. “I used to have my own catering business.”

Others who have suffered a similar twist of fate are referred to Roy’s Desert Resource Center. But, now it too is struggling.

Denise Welch is the secretary for the Friends of Roy’s Foundation. She says, “It’s a 120 bed facility, because of financial cuts due to the fact that cities have not been able to submit their amounts, because county property taxes were partially funding the place. They dropped and funds have dropped.”

Now they’re operating on a $1.1 million budget, forcing them to cut back to 60 beds.

People stay there overnight, get a meal and then have to leave by 7 in the morning.
Roy’s then buses people back downtown, for the rest of the day.

Rosenthal says, “That aspect of Roy’s and the fact that they’re not open during the day is a real problem.”

And something they’re hoping to change, by raising funds through the Friends of Roy’s Foundation. Welch says, “We would like to see a 24-hour facility, where we don’t have to bus people down, out of the facility here.”

To help more people focus on a new beginning.

Chris Rose says, “Yeah, go to school and finish. Get a job, because it ain’t fun out here.”

KESQ News Team

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