Enrique Orellana is the pastor at Fuente de Vida Christian Center in Coachella. Over the past 10 years his church has seen its fair share of vandalism.
“They broke windows, doors, they took computers,” said Orellana. “Our church has been vandalized four times, but we don’t give up because we love God and love people.”
Orellana is one of a dozen pastors across the religious spectrum joining forces with law enforcement and the City of Coachella for an InterFaith Alliance, initiated by Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez.
Their mission is to address Coachella’s toughest challenges such as gangs, homelessness, littering, vandalism and graffiti.
“As a pastor and counselor we see most of the ‘trouble makers.’ It’s people with great needs. We have a fatherless generation, people dealing with drug addiction and alcoholism. Through faith and love we have an answer,” said Orellana.
The InterFaith Alliance has pledged to develop a series of initiatives over the next several months to engage local residents with activities including sports and outreach programs.
City leaders and church leaders will get to work this month to kick off three Community Cleanup days and they need neighbors of all ages to help.
“It’s going to be the time to take the young people and the children to see we can all take part in this,” said Orellana.
The InterFaith Alliance will meet this Wednesday at the Coachella Corporate Yard, 53462 Enterprise Way. The alliance will confirm dates for the cleanup days, which are expected to be held over the next three months.