Local and visiting partners in the ongoing mission to abate homelessness around the city of Blythe and greater Palo Verde Valley community came together at the Joe Wine Recreation Center's south parking lot on June 12 for the first of six planned "90 Days of Summer" resource events.

"I think just taking the time to give someone water, and some food, and to sit with them in some shade just to talk is not overrated; it's a very powerful moment. And of all the individuals we were talking with, I was just kinda touched that – at that moment, at that time – we could meet that need for them and be available. It's kind of a powerful thing," said Coachella Valley Rescue Mission (CVRM) Program Director Tom Cox.

Housing assessments, food, water, shelter and encompassing services were made available to potential clients by the day's supporting agency representatives and personnel.

Participating agencies included CVRM, Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Blythe Police Department (BPD), Riverside County – Behavioral Health's Homeless Outreach Team, Riverside County EDA (Economic Development Agency), and Blythe Homeless Task Force leadership.

Notably, the event saw a U.S. Armed Forces veteran identified and be taken off the streets.

"Towards the end of the day, some county workers came and moved the veteran to a motel. From there, they'll be working on his housing, so that was a win," noted Cox.

Another serviced transient individual – a heroin addict – took an opportunity to check into rehab.

As reported at the Blythe Homeless Task Force's May 22 meeting at City Hall, CVRM's healthcare provider – the Health to Hope mobile clinic, which had previously participated in at-risk low income and homelessness support service events in town – has ceased operations.

"Probably in another two weeks we'll have another medical service provider providing services. We're just under contract with Health to Hope until (June 21)," noted Cox.

A highlight for the CVRM team included providing water to a group of kids who were making their way home from the resident Splash Pad water recreation facility.

"Just being at the right place at the right time to give these kids some water. We asked them if they had sunscreen, they said no, so we just gave them the sunscreen and some water. I don't think a person needs to be in a housing crisis for us to share and care about people. That was just kind of a moment where, these kids were probably just getting out of the house for a while to cool off because they can't run the air conditioning. A lot of need out there," said Cox. "I am really excited to come out in two weeks again. If anybody in the Blythe community wants to assist or help out with handing out water or donations, we would love to partner with them."

The June 12 date was the first of six dates throughout the summer where CVRM will be providing encompassing support services for the homeless looking to take a step forward toward bettering their lives and get off the streets. The next scheduled dates are currently set for:

June 26

July 10

July 24

August 14

August 28

The events are set from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day, in the south parking lot of the Joe Wine Recreation Center (127 S. Main St.).

For any inquiries, questions or more information on CVRM, please call (760) 347-3512; or visit www.cvrm.org.

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