I believe that not a single person in our City should go hungry or be without a roof over their head. Food and shelter are basic human rights and needs. Food insecurity and homelessness have increased in DHS because of national economic conditions. More and more residents rely weekly on food charities, and many more are searching for affordable housing. Food and affordable housing are immediate needs.
We are extremely fortunate to have many excellent food assistance organizations operating in DHS, both faith-based and non-sectarian, feeding needy residents of DHS regardless of their age or sex or family status or income. We are also fortunate to have numerous organizations here in the Coachella Valley that are available to help provide residents of Desert Hot Springs with temporary shelter and resources for finding long-term housing. Your city government is now providing a state-of-the-art shelter for the city’s unhoused. The city council approved an agreement with Martha’s Village and Kitchen in September of 2023, which allows Martha’s Village to operate an “access hub” that provides safety, lunch, a shower, a place to get cool, and other services for people without housing. The hub, located at 66753 Hacienda Avenue, will also have space for up to 27 people to stay overnight. And, recognizing the bond between individuals and their pets, a dedicated area is set up for those who have pets. I will do my best to make sure that funding exists to keep our access hub in operation for as long as there is a need.
As long as I am Mayor, I will make sure that no individual who expresses a need for food or shelter goes ignored. I will make sure that citizens have access to resources that can help them find food and housing. I will continue to support our wonderful and generous organizations that reach out and assist our homeless and hungry. I will partner with food assistance organizations that also provide job skills training. And, of course, I will make sure that our city government prioritizes the needs of its residents when budgeting and seeking county, state or federal resources, fighting to make sure that those entities give DHS its fair share of financial support.