INDIO, Calif.- - Dozens of homeless people who had been living in an encampment on tribal land in Indio are being told to leave.
Last week, the people living behind the One Stop Shop shopping center at the intersection of Van Buren Street and Indio Boulevard were given notice Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs officials that they would have to vacate the property this week. According to the notice, anyone who did not leave could be charged with trespassing or held liable for damages to the property.
Everybody here is really depressed, don't know where to go." said one woman who had been living in the encampment. "We have no idea. We have no clue on where we are going. All we know is that we have no home, we have no food no water no nothing."
The Coachella Valley Rescue Mission has been working to help those living at the camp since Monday, alongside the Riverside County Sheriff's Homeless Outreach team and County Behavioral Health Services. "It's not a housing crisis it's a substance abuse, mental health and affordable housing crisis," said Tom Cox, the Program Director for the Mission. He says 23 people have been moved to emergency shelters so far.
The encampment was last cleared out in January. Local businesses say that while the homeless are generally harmless, the camp has impacted business. "It does affect us negatively because people drive by and you see a lot of tents," said Angel Chavez, the assistant manager of One Stop Shoppe.
Republican Assemblyman Chad Mayes and Democratic Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia submitted a formal request asking for $10 million in state funding to address homelessness in the Coachella Valley, local officials announced Tuesday.
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