The Palm Springs Access Center opened its doors tonight, offering a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal courtesy of Church 212 for those in need.
The shelter not only provided dinner but also a warm cot to sleep in during this winter storm.
Gail Richards, of Palm Desert, has been sleeping at the center every night since it opened.
"It's been a blessing. When it was 118 degrees, oh my gosh, to have a place was cool to sleep and take a shower," Richards said.
Richards spoke about how helpful the help she receives is.
"Five nights a week different people that we don't even know never knew make meals for us and that's not easy," Richards said.
She says many take for granted sleeping in their own bed.
"Definitely. Your bed because as nice as it is to have a cot to sleep on its really hard on me because I have a very deformed back so its very painful to sleep on the cot my own bed would be wonderful," Richards said.
Richards says the shelter provides her a pillow, blankets, sheets, bed padding and extra room for her therapy cat, Uncle Sam, to sleep next to her. She says the center feels like home.
"It's so hard not being with your family that's really hard so we kinda created our own family here," Richards said.
The center just opened this summer and has plans to expand.
"Our numbers are pretty high so we are in the process in looking for a bigger building and we're month to month right now but our numbers are pretty good so hopefully we could keep this going," Jimmy Martinez, manager of the center.
The shelter. located on 225 El Cielo Road, is opened daily from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. All donations are welcomed, the supervisor says they are looking for winter clothing.