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Palm Springs meeting on $10 million homeless grant slated for Wednesday

A community meeting will be held at the Palm Springs Convention Center Wednesday to give residents an opportunity to suggest how $10 million in state funds for homeless assistance will be spent.

``This is the one and only chance for residents to share their input on how these important funds should be spent before the city makes its request to the state of California with recommendations,'' said city spokeswoman Amy Blaisdell.

The meeting was originally set to begin at 6:00 p.m. in Primrose A at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, but city officials have since changed the start to 6 p.m.

The funding stems from a provision attached to the 2019-2020 fiscal year state budget.

Although Palm Springs city officials have yet to publicly finalize what to do with the one-time influx of cash, Blaisdell said previously the funds could pay for ``shelter, behavioral health assistance, employment opportunities and other services.''

Barbara Poppe, a nationally recognized leader on homeless issues and former executive director of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, will lead the meeting, alongside Mayor Geoff Kors and Mayor Pro Tem Christy Holstege.

"This $10 million award to address homelessness in our community is a huge game-changer for Palm Springs,'' Kors said in a statement last September when the funding was announced."Our new programs have proven successful, but we need more resources to implement them to help even more people. Over the past few years, Palm Springs has put more focus on meeting with lawmakers in Sacramento and advocating for our fair share of resources.''

Over the past two years, Palm Springs has started new homeless-assistance programs in a partnership with the Desert Healthcare District, allocating more than $1.4 million to house and provide other services and open emergency overnight cooling shelters during the summer months.

According to the Riverside County's 2019 point-in-time count, the homeless population in Palm Springs grew from 126 people in 2018 to 196 in 2019.

The meeting will be broadcast live online at www.palmspringsca.gov and on Palm Springs Community Television Channel 17.

Residents can also offer their input by emailing City Clerk Anthony Mejia at Anthony.Mejia@palmspringsca.gov, or calling 760-323-8204.

News / Politics

City News Service

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