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Residents voice concerns about homeless navigation center during heated virtual meeting

On Wednesday evening, the City of Palm Springs held a virtual community meeting for the new homeless navigation center.

Palm Springs' new Homeless Navigation Center is set to be located at 3589 McCarthy Road in the northern part of the city. The location of the center has been a source of controversy for residents of those neighborhoods.

“I have a feeling you guys just do whatever you want to, when you want to, and how you want to - period,” said resident Gloria Thompson during the virtual meeting.

Frustration and concern led Wednesday night’s public comment during the virtual community meeting.

“I just feel disrespected that this is a forum that we can voice our opinion and let people know what we’re thinking but then it’s like well, we’re gonna continue on,” said resident Calvin Larson.

The site includes 3 buildings spanning across more than 3.6 acres, and will be operated by Martha’s Village and Kitchen.

3589 McCarthy Road

Residents who live nearby say that the area already faces problems of substance abuse, mental health and violence. They say adding the center would only make matters worse.

“Because I’m weary of strangers. You know, are you gonna have people coming out of prison that are homeless and have been sexual predators, kidnappers and all the degenerate things you could think of," Thompson added, "Are they gonna be in this homeless shelter?”

The city assured the homeless coming into the center will be screened beforehand, and that the center will have 24/7 security.

“Martha’s will have security. We are working very closely with the police department to develop what’s necessary for everybody’s safety,” said Linda Barrack the President & CEO of Martha’s Village and Kitchen.

Another concern, residents also said they felt left out. They feel as if they’re not being prioritized by the city.

“But are you really taking our comments and the way we feel to heart? I’m not feeling that,” Thompson said.

However, city officials reassured they are taking the public input seriously and working with their concerns in mind.

“I would feel terrible and like a failure just to be perfectly honest if we do this and the things that people are really worried about happen. We’re having these extra meetings and cataloging these concerns for the sole reason of sitting down and saying ok, now how do we do it. How do we really do it," said City Manager Justin Clifton.

There’s no set date yet on when the next community meeting will take place.

In case you missed it, the city said it will be posting the full zoom recording of the virtual meeting on their website.

To submit any questions or concerns, email

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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.


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