The summertime heat in the Coachella Valley is brutal for many, especially people experiencing homelessness. Cooling centers open in the summer for people to find relief. Tuesday, July 6th, a 24-hour cooling center will be available to people in the community at United Methodist Church of Palm Springs (1555 E. Alejo Rd.).
This cooling center is a partnership with Riverside County and Martha's Village and Kitchen. A timely opening as excessive heat grips the Coachella Valley this week.
“I mean for those of us that live here, we’ve seen what the summer holds,” said George Sinatra with Martha's Village and Kitchen. This center will run through September 30th. People will be given all meals, a place to shower, and a place to sleep. In addition, case management workers will be there to help people with everything from obtaining their birth certificate to finding employment. “Over those next, about 90, days they will meet with case management daily or every other day to help them facilitate and hopefully move them from this temporary shelter to permanent housing,” said Sinatra.
"The first step as people return here between 3 and 4 pm is that they will be able to take their showers,” said Sinatra. From there, dinner is served around 6 p.m. People will be able to watch some television then it's lights out. Come morning, the beds are replaced with tables and breakfast will be served. “After that we will work with our partner, well in the desert who serves lunches around palm springs at different churches,” said Sinatra.
The goal of the facility is to keep people cool and sheltered short-term with a bigger long-term solution. “We will continue to follow our mission of breaking the cycle of homelessness and also breaking the cycle of re-entering homelessness through our case management and wrap-around service,” said Sinatra.
This is not a walk-in cooling center. People will need to register with Martha's Village to have a spot at the center. To do this, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use that email if you are interested in volunteering with the organization.