PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The city of Palm Springs expects to receive $10 million in state funding to address the homeless epidemic.
City leaders are calling the provision a major breakthrough, as homelessness climbed 21-percent in Riverside County since 2018.
"The only solution to homelessness is a home, said councilmember Christy Holstege. "We really don't have enough permanent housing in the Coachella Valley."
Holstege said the city has been fighting for its "fair share" of state dollars to find a forever fix to the pervasive problem. She'd like some of the $10 million to fund a place for the homeless to live.
"Like permanent supportive housing, like a navigation center for people who are homeless where it's a one stop shop for people to go," Holstege said.
"$10 million isn't going to answer the question of homelessness in the Coachella Valley but it certainly will make a large dent with the issue," said Assemblyman Chad Mayes, who helped secure the funding in Sacramento. He said while the money is allocated specifically to Palm Springs, it's meant to help homelessness across the valley.
The city and county have funded cooling centerss and other homeless services, costing Palm Springs more than $1.4 million for what Holstege calls temporary fixes.
"I want to see us be very careful," said Arlene Rosenthal, president of Well in the Desert, one of few resources available to the homeless population of Palm Springs.
She's urging public involvement in the decision of where the money will go. She said the $10 million has big implications for the people she serves.
"It's regaining your dignity, having a place to shower, putting on clean clothes," Rosenthal said.
The city said while they don't have the exact state regulations yet, that money will be earmarked to address only homelessness. City leaders plan on taking public input on how it should be spent.
And it's not a done deal yet -- the funding still has to be voted on by state legislatures, but is expected to pass. City leaders are optimistic it will be signed by Governor Newsom by the end of this week.
More: I-Team investigations
Find us on Facebook: KESQ News Channel 3
Follow us on Twitter for breaking news updates: @KESQ
We’re on Instagram! @KESQ_News_Channel_3
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15