News Headlines

Heat hits the homeless

The Coachella Valley Rescue Mission is a place to cool off and call home when you don't have one.

"I've only been here a week, and this has really been a life saver for me. If it wasn't for this place, I don't know what I'd do," Glenda Amos said.

"Our house burned in November, and we've been struggling ever since then," Melissa Castro said.

Melissa Castro, her husband and their five kids call the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission their home, and with triple digits outside, the cool is a blessing.

"I thank God for air conditioning every time I'm in here," Castro said.

Amid the rising temperatures, the Rescue Mission offers cooling centers and overnight shelter for the homeless. The last three weeks particularly have been brutal heat-wise, and thus the center has been packed.

"It's really a health issue out there for people living in encampments and camps," Coachella Valley Rescue Mission Executive Director Darla Burkett said.

During the day, the facility offers air conditioning, showers, clean clothes and food and water.

There are 75 beds for people to sleep in, and they have all been full every night.

People have to sign up for the in-high-demand air conditioned sleep area - starting at 4:00 every day.

"We have been known to take a few extras, yes, because it's really hard to turn someone away when it's this miserable outside," Burkett said.

More beds would help, but Burkett said at $350 each, and with a budget cut in half this year, more beds isn't an option.

The center always takes donations - towels and food are particularly a need right now - so it can continue to change lives.

"It's been really hard to get back on our feet, and this place has given us a chance," Castro said.

comments powered by Disqus

Photo Galleries

  • On this day: October 23
    IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

    On this day: October 23

    The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut are hit by a truck bomb, Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination is rejected, and the iPod is introduced, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • World's most empathetic countries
    Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

    World's most empathetic countries

    Michigan State University has put together a list of the most empathetic countries. Researchers interviewed more than 100,000 adults from 63 countries and found "higher empathy countries also have higher levels of collectivism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, self-esteem, emotionality, subjective well-being, and prosocial behavior." Find out the top 10 countries that made the list.

    Read More »
  • On this day: October 22
    Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

    On this day: October 22

    The first parachute jump takes place, "Pretty Boy" Floyd is gunned down, football meets television, and The Supremes top the charts, all on this day.

    Read More »
  • Everything you wanted to know about the Electoral College
    William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

    Everything you wanted to know about the Electoral College

    The person ahead in the popular vote might not actually win the presidency. Why? The Electoral College takes the final vote -- not us.

    Read More »
  • Best Clinton, Trump lines from Alfred E. Smith dinner

    Best Clinton, Trump lines from Alfred E. Smith dinner

      Less than a day after their heated final presidential debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton traded shots at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner. Here's a look at the most memorable lines from the event.

    Read More »