What can a Neighborhood Organization do
to Help Reduce Homelessness?
THE WORKGROUP ON HOMELESSNESS IS FOCUSED ON THESE FOUR INITIATIVES
Provide residents and businesses with useful information such as local resources to help the homeless. To this end, with special thanks to Frank McAlpin, a homelessness resources list has been created. Much of this information is available on the City's website, at its page, HERE, for "Resources & Services for Families and Individuals Experiencing Homelessness".
2. Identify homelessness-focused services within the Baristo Neighborhood / area that are in need of volunteers and / donations.
For example, several services are offered every Friday at Our Lady of Guadalupe church. In fact, Martha's Village
shuttles individuals from the Access Center on El Cielo, which it manages, to Our Lady of Guadalupe every Friday.
Once such service, Overflow 12:9, offers hot showers, towels and clothing to those in need. Overflow was featured in the Jan-Feb 2024 edition of The Roadrunner, shown below. Volunteers are welcomed, as needed, every other Friday, as listed on their SCHEDULE, https://bit.ly/4bDS00x. Volunteer and donation needs are detailed on this page: https://bit.ly/42EllE4.
In addition to its Inpatient service at Desert Reginal Medical Center and High Desert Medical, DPMG (Desert Physicians Medical Group) provides Community Outreach Programs, including its Friday visits at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. The range of services available might best be described as a "Mini Urgent Care Center". At this time, they are not seeking volunteers per se but they would appreciate donations of packaged snack foods and bottled water.
CVRM (Coachella Valley Rescue Mission)
CVRM rotates its hot shower mobile facility, shown below, every other Friday with Overflow: 9:12. However, on it's non-shower Fridays, CVRM shows up to conduct its normal Outreach Services. As explained on their website, Street Outreach | Coachella Valley Rescue Mission (cvrm.org), "The teams make contact with those out on the streets to provide immediate resources and comfort. Street outreach teams also provide case management and supportive services. Services include housing assessments, medical referrals and assessments, and referrals to other social service needs while providing a compassionate approach for individuals and families who are unsheltered." CVRM accepts in-kind donations as well as financial, details of their needs can be found at Give Food & Supplies to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission (cvrm.org).
3. Advocate, as directed by the Board and the Membership, regarding citywide issues that impact homelessness.
At this time, no specific issue for advocacy has been proposed.
4. Leverage support for City or County initiatives, such as approval for housing developments, to ensure that Neighborhood improvements accompany such initiatives.
Board members have reviewed the City's Housing Element of the City's General Plan as well as the Section 14 Specific Plan. Both are posted on this website on the Documents page. A Baristo-focused summary of the Housing Element, developed by the Board, is also posted. In short, Baristo may become the recipient of more new "affordable" housing developments than any other Neighborhood in Palm Springs. The Board feels strongly that this is a significant win-win, for both the City and the Neighborhood (and future residents of the new housing), provided that the new developments are supported by appropriate and effective traffic calming, safe and attractive pedestrian walkways, ample green space and ample public transportation.
NOTE: the City's Assistant Director for Planning Services will be a guest speaker at our upcoming General Membership Annual Meeting on March 16, at the PS Public Library. Details are available on the Meeting & Events page of our website.
Recommended Reading on Homelessness
TOWARD A NEW UNDERSTANDING, "The California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness", was released in June 2023. Known also as The California Statewide Study of People Experiencing Homelessness (CASPEH), it is said to be the the largest representative study of homelessness since the mid-1990s and the first large-scale representative study to use mixed methods (surveys and in-depth interviews). Here is the Study and its Summary.