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Cathedral City assistance center opens for residents and businesses impacted by tropical storm

The Riverside County Emergency Management Department, in coordination with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, county departments, local, state, and federal agencies, and other organizations, opened a three-day-only local assistance center for residents and businesses impacted by tropical storm Hilary.

The center is at the Cathedral City Library, located at 33520 Date Palm Drive. The hours will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday to Friday, Sept. 6 to Sept. 8.

Officials said the local assistance center will provide resources and services from many agencies. It's open to all residents and businesses in the Coachella Valley that have been impacted, like Cathedral City resident Karen Valladares.

"I got to talk to really good agencies. I'm hoping they can help with my situation," said Valladares.

Agencies will be available to provide services that include housing, behavioral health, social services, and CalFresh, and assistance with completing forms to report damages.

However, some residents, like Marta Perez from Mecca, said this event should have happened sooner. 

"I wish they would have done it last week or the week before, you know, when I was really, really depressed. But well, help is here," said Perez.

Shane Reichert with the County Emergency Management Department said it took time to establish safety and get residents out.

"We had to talk with residents, we had to see the damages firsthand, after, we started assessing those needs, then we had to figure out who needs to be at this local assistance center," said Reichert. "We have state agencies, they have to arrange travel, it's not an easy process. It's not something that happens overnight."

The Riverside County Emergency Management Department encourages residents and businesses to report damages via an online form at or by calling 2-1-1.

Officials noted that the form is not an application for assistance nor a guarantee of any benefits. The form is to assist the County Emergency Management Department in determining the extent of damages from the natural disaster and provide information that can be used to help the county qualify for any state or federal disaster programs to seek assistance for individuals.

The following agencies are anticipated to be available at the Local Assistance Center:

County Departments:

  • Riverside University Health System – Public Health
  • Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health
  • Riverside County Office on Aging
  • Riverside County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
  • Riverside County Department of Public Social Services
  • Riverside County Housing and Workforce Solutions Department

Local, State and Federal Agencies:

  • City of Cathedral City
  • California Department of Motor Vehicles
  • California Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Social Security Administration

Non-Government Organizations:

  • Salvation Army
  • American Red Cross
  • Team Rubicon
  • FIND Food Bank
  • United Policy Holder

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Jesus Reyes


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