As temperatures rise in the desert communities, Riverside County is gearing up for the summer to open cooling centers for the daytime and overnight cooling centers to provide cooling relief for unhoused residents.
The Community Action Partnership of Riverside County coordinates with community organizations to provide daytime cooling centers. These centers will open starting June 1st and are places where residents can cool off to be safe, while reducing their home utility costs and conserve energy. 20 cool centers are confirmed to open throughout the Fourth District covering Idyllwild, the western, mid- and eastern Coachella Valley, Desert Center, and the Blythe community, and more centers may join on as partners. A directory of cool centers is at https://capriverside.org.
For the fifth summer in a row, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez has secured county funding to open an overnight cooling center for unhoused residents in need of a place to sleep out of the heat. Riverside County is funding a cooling shelter in Palm Springs that will run June 1st through September 30th, made possible by $250,000 from the Housing Homeless Assistance Program (HHAP) funds received by the county. The shelter is through a partnership with the City of Palm Springs and will be operated by Martha’s Village & Kitchen, and is located at the Palm Springs Access Center in Palm Springs, 225 E. Cielo Rd. The shelter has capacity for 25 beds.
In addition, the Riverside County Housing and Workforce Solutions Department has worked with the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission which will fund 15 additional beds to support more residents during this same timeframe.
The overnight cooling shelters are a humanitarian and emergency safety measure for those who lack stable housing to get out of dangerous heat conditions. Supervisor Perez credits these efforts as vital resources and life-saving options for local residents, helping prevent heat-related injuries and illness and life-threatening conditions.
“Our vulnerable low-income residents, such as the elderly, disabled, and families with infants and young children living in disadvantaged communities, and people experiencing homelessness should not have to suffer and risk the dangers of extreme heat,” said Supervisor Perez. “We appreciate the partnership with the City of Palm Springs and Martha’s Village & Kitchen to operate the overnight shelter in Palm Springs, and also grateful to CVRM for stepping up to support more residents this summer.”
Cool Centers in Riverside County for 2023
Photo from Riverside County Community Action Partnership.