A homeless couple says they were “mistreated” at Roy’s Desert Resource Center.
Juanita and Samuel Price say they and their 13-year-old daughter were unfairly kicked out of the homeless shelter in North Palm Springs.
“I feel angry and hurt,” said Juanita Price while talking about getting kicked out of the facility.
Juanita and her husband Samuel talked about their experience while staying at a hotel in Palm Springs.
“It feels bad, it feels really bad,” said Juanita.
The Prices began their second stay at Roy’s in late September, and left November 30th. The couple says they got evicted after a staffer handed them three citations, all at once, for three alleged infractions.
“We’re here in a facility that is there to help people, not hurt people, but they’re able to do that,” said Juanita.
The prices were accused of three violations:
Leaving their daughter unsupervised in one room of the building
Leaving the facility one morning later than required
They were told their daughter did not return a DVD player borrowed from Roy’s on time
The Prices challenge all three accusations.
The couple also says staffers at Roy’s failed to follow the shelter’s guidelines by not issuing citations to the family when the alleged infractions took place, and they claim the family did not get the opportunity to participate in Roy’s formal grievance appeal process.
“The process was not followed for me, and I think that is unfair, and it’s not right,” said Juanita.
Juanita, who tells CBS Local 2 she has a Master’s degree in teaching from USC, says staffers at Roy’s are “arbitrary” in following rules and procedures, and that staff intentionally keep shelter clients “in the dark” when it comes to their rights, so they’re “more easily controlled”.
“We want to see some change, and we want to see this changed for everybody,” said Samuel.
The acting director at Roy’s turned down a request to talk on camera about the Price’s claims, citing “HIPPA regulations”.
But, the widow of former County Supervisor Roy Wilson, for whom the shelter is named, did comment.
“There are rules people must follow when they come into Roy’s”, saidAurora Wilson, the Director of Community Resources for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments.
Wilson also said, “Grievance procedures are publicly posted at Roy’s”.
“At Roy’s they don’t follow a process. It is subjective, depending on who is on duty, and who is not on duty,” said Juanita.
Roy’s representatives tell us the Price family was referred to two other valley homeless shelters.
The Prices say they’ve filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The couple also says they’re considering legal action.