PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A day after reporting on a growing homeless camp in and around the wash near Palm Canyon and Gene Autry, it appears Palm Springs police are cracking down on the transients living there.
Palm Springs resident Douglas Clark says he noticed a growing number of tents over the past month, and more transients wandering around, harassing hikers and shoppers in the area. On Tuesday, we returned to the camp and witnessed police talking to a couple who had set up their tents in the wash next to the Von's shopping center.
Clark says he hoping these people can get the help they need.
"There are shelters in town that are designed to aid the homeless. You know, they give them food, they give them shelter, they can give them a place to live until, you know, they support themselves," Douglas said.
Mark McWaters, a transient, says he's tried searching for help, but many times is turned away.
There is homeless shelters, but for me to go there now, its too long of a wait," he said.
Roy's Desert Resource Center, a multi-service center in North Palm Springs, provides the tools people on the streets need to get back on their feet. Residents are provided with food, shelter, clothes, and other resources necessary to break the cycle of homelessness.
It's the only one in the Palm Springs area and is almost at capacity, out of 90 beds available, the center says 87 are being used. However, Director of Community Resources, Aurora Wilson says the center never turns anyone away. They'll help place people in need at other shelters across the valley, and even provide transportation for them. The challenge, many times though, is people really wanting to be helped. Wilson says the center has rules and residents really need to put in the effort to reintegrate themselves into society. That includes having them leave the shelter during the day, so they can be proactive in their search for potential jobs. Last year, 108 people at the shelter found work.
"The homeless shelter at Roy's is not a place to relax, it's a place where they find services and help get them back into the community as working people and contributing back to the community," Wilson said.
She says a lot times once transients find out about the center's strict rules, they end back on the streets.
"They are used to living in the environment, they want to live in the environment, they do not want to follow the rules," she added.
Roy's Desert Resource Center is located at 19531 McLane St. in North Palm Springs. The shelter can also be contacted at (760) 676-5200. The center has also started pickup stops around the valley for people who want help and need transportation to the center. They are located at the bus stops on Farrell and Vista Chino, Raquet Club and Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. Dinah Shore and Cathedral Canyon in Cathedral City.
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