EAST COACHELLA VALLEY, Calif. - With the continued triple digit heat, local organizations are pushing to inform the public of various heat relief resources and cooling centers available.
On the western side of the valley, three new cooling centers are open this summer in Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City and Palm Springs. However, there are several cooling center options and resources in the East Valley as well, some of them leaving lasting impacts.
“I understand how much the heat affects everyone...and it’s a struggle out there when you’re homeless,” said Mandy Ferrell, who used to be homeless but has now turned her life around at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission.
She says she knows how dangerous the summer heat can be for those living without air conditioning or a permanent place to call home.
“It’s been good people can come here and stuff and they can get help,” said Ryder Ferrell, her son.
Ferrell and her two sons are currently living at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission in Indio. The center offers not only relief from the heat, but also life-changing resources.
“I’ll have one year clean and sober on the 13th of next month which I don’t think I would have been able to do anywhere else," said Ferrell.
“I’m in school for medical administration and I'm trying to do something with my life after this," said Marissa Sepulveda, another mother living at CVRM.
The mission has helped nearly 2,000 people since the start of the year -- 482 of them coming from Indio alone. "It gets very, very hot out here...so in the annex they have of course air conditioning, it feels so amazing you get to have a cool shower, water and you get to eat three times a day," added Sepulveda.
The mission has 300 beds. And given the extreme summer heat...almost all of them are full every night.
"So that’s 300 people that need toiletries..that need towels...that need undergarments…” said News Channel 3's Madison Weil, in a discussion with CVRM's program director Tom Cox.
He says the mission relies mostly on donations. They're in need of extra help from the community during these hot summer months.
“We need pillows, undergarments, deodorant..." he said. They're also in need of toiletries and hearty non-perishable food items such as oatmeal, ramen or soup. The mission serves more than 1,200 meals per day. Those wishing to donate items can simply drop them off at the mission's Indio campus.
But the mission isn’t the only cooling center option in the East Valley. The Women Infant and Children (WIC) center in Mecca is a cooling center Monday through Friday offering water, snacks and health services. “We want them to stay hydrated, be comfortable and be safe," said Linda Carlos, a WIC worker.
Those in need of relief from the heat in the East Valley can also check out the Coachella and Indio senior centers, the Galilee Center, Martha’s Village and Kitchen, and the Mecca Boys and Girls Club to name a few.
For a complete list of all cooling center locations and resources across the Coachella Valley click here.
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