Homeless advocate, Talie Rosa, is hoping to collect $400 for 350 safety vests for the homeless community in the west end of the Valley. It’s a small start for now, but she’s hoping it will make a big difference and homeless people with safety concerns think it can save lives.
“My friends that passed away by getting run over. I’d say six in the past five years,” said Palm Springs resident, Joseph Sanchez.
He’s been able to stay on his feet with the help of the Well in the Desert, a homeless advocacy program, which Rosa volunteers for. It’s where she got the idea to purchase safety vests for the homeless.
“I was just asking homeless friends of mine what they would do if they could change things about Palm Springs and they said they would do something about people getting killed at night by automobiles,” Rosa said.
“I’ve seen a lot of people get run over. Friends of mine, flying in the air. and the ones that hit them, get away with it because. ‘Hey, they’re homeless.’ They think they’re not worth anything but we are, we’re still human beings,” said Arlene Rosenthal, president of Well in the Desert.
While some people are encouraged to wear the vests, Rosenthal says Rosa may be faced with some challenges along the way.
“I’ve seen people try to do this before and a lot of our homeless people don’t want to be seen at night because they’re illegal. If they’re found sleeping someplace, they’ll be taken away, Rosenthal said. “A lot are not going to want to do that, but if she wants to do the campaign and helps those to accept them, then i think that’s fine.”
“The vest thing, it’s a real good thing. It’s a great deal and if they get them, I hope they use it,” Sanchez said.
If you would like to help, you can donate here.