Baristo Park Closing In Palm Springs; City Assessing Filth, Waste, Damage Caused by Homeless People

Residents around Baristo Park on Calle Encilia in Palm Springs are not happy with what has happened to their neighborhood park.

They have taken their concerns about unsafe activities, public health, and homeless people to city officials.

So the city is closing the park to inspect and clean the park, install cameras, come up with a security plan, and scalp the lawn.

The park will be closed over the next few weeks, and will stay closed for about 6 weeks.

Calls for Police and Fire assistance at Baristo Park have more than doubled in the past 2 years. 

From 2017-2019 there were 558 calls for police and fire help at Baristo Park.

From 2019 through the first 10 months of 2021, there have been  1,245 calls for police and fire service at the park.

City Manager Justin Clifton says in its current state, Baristo Park is detrimental to the health and safety of the public due to drug paraphernalia, used needles and syringes, human feces, litter and cigarette butts strewn throughout the park…”related to a small group of transient individuals.”

The park closure is one in a series of steps the City has taken to address homeless issues, including expanding security and maintenance downtown and convening meetings to talk about  solutions. 

The City of Palm Springs has opened the Palm Springs Access Center on El Cielo, offering services 7 days a week, but there are no overnight accommodations there.

Thursday, Oct. 28th , the City Council will discuss a Homeless Navigation Center to house homeless people on the west side of the desert.


Homeless man sitting with hands outstretched seeking a handout.

Photo from Alpha Media Palm Springs CA