An inside look of the DHS Cooling Center located at 66290 Estrella

Homelessness numbers are in the rise throughout the state of California. It has been well documented that varying factors such as drug abuse and cost of living issues have and will continue to impact those without shelter. Many analysts have forecasted that the numbers will continue to rise, and although our numbers here in the valley are nowhere near as staggering as those in LA county for example, we do have a growing population of homeless here.

As we scramble for solutions, the residents of our great city are not only speaking out, but many can be seen offering a helping hand. One thing about DHS that is unlike any other city that I have lived in… the compassion. Over the last several years I have seen this city rally together to help students who needed assistance with funding for college, seniors who needed help with living expenses, and beyond. This summer however, I have seen unified effort in serving those that lie in our streets daily.

In July, the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission opened the DHS cooling center. Located at 66290 Estrella, the center is open 7 days a week form 7pm-7am and currently averages 27 people nightly. This is amazing simply because without the center, these 27 people (a few children are among them) would more than likely find themselves sleeping outdoors in the middle of multiple heat waves. In addition to a nice cool place to sleep overnight, they are also provided with access to showers, storage for personal items, and peace of mind.

Occupants have access to showers and storage!!!

I asked some questions around town and social media this week, here are a few varied responses:

“I’d describe it [homelessness] as a rising epidemic with no end in sight for the rising numbers because numerous factors, drug addiction, addiction in general, spending habits, mental health and the economy. Without treating the underlying cause it’s hopeless. …It’s sad, problematic for many reasons, unfortunate and heart wrenching for many people to see. No one is perfect, you have to offer them help via programs and counseling or at least provide information on where to receive it…”

“You can’t function properly if you don’t have a stable place to live and steady income you just can’t think! They need housing first then jobs. Many cannot function even with those 2 crucial things and need mental health services first…”

“3-pronged approach… providing housing, provide counseling and support and educate the general public which seems to have so many misconceptions.”

“One family/person at a time. Each situation is unique, and our response must be individualized!!”

“We need a shelter that helps with permanent housing counseling and other mental health services… nothing too big like Coachella rescue mission… but our town does need something… it’s hard… not all homeless people are without jobs they just have to feed themselves and try to make it through… do any of you who are talking crap know how much it is to get a place .. coming from nothing to something is very very hard….”

The compassion shown by our city:

From speaking with CVRM staff and perusing social media, I have witnessed an outpouring of love! Our people, the people of DHS have shown up in a major. Many homeless who utilize the cooling center come with only the clothes on their backs. However, because of the generosity of many of you, they are given a much clothing as they need. Many have donated fresh linens and hygiene products. Lastly, there have been some that have volunteered their time to visit the center and speak with some of the occupants, to keep them company. I am so proud of DHS!!! We are a community of compassion!!!

More From Advancing Desert Hot Springs...

Veteran’s Day and Beyond!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | November 9, 2019

Principal Arseo Meet principal Arseo! She has been served as principal at Bella Vista since the school opened in January of 2014. (She previously served as the principal at Edward Wenzlaff for two years.) She has a passion for Bella Vista, one that is evident every time you see her walk through the halls and…

Diversity DHS!!!

By Kephyan Sheppard | October 19, 2019

A while back, we presented Diversity DHS to some of you in an effort to highlight the many things they do to Advance DHS. This week I was able to catch up with Sam Messler, the groups co-founder and dicussed their growth and plans for the immediate future. Groups like Diversity DHS are part of…

Our Wonderful Historical Society

By Kephyan Sheppard | October 12, 2019

A Historical Society (sometimes referred to as a preservation society) is an organization that aims to preserve, collect, research, and interpret historical information or items related to (in this case) a city’s history. These society’s play an integral role in protecting and preserving records while interpreting and presenting things of the past to the general…

A 4 Time Emmy Award Winner Calls DHS Home!

By Kephyan Sheppard | September 21, 2019

Ask anyone in Hollywood and they will tell you that the Emmy Award is an award of prestige. An Emmy Award (Emmy), is an award that acknowledges excellence in the television industry. This award is coveted by many, and bestowed upon few. Now I know you may be asking the question, “What in the world…

Once Again, DHS High Leads the Way!

By Kephyan Sheppard | September 15, 2019

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Principal Cota of Desert Hot Springs High School. Not only did she impress me, but based off of the responses I have received, she has impressed many of you. We are extremely fortunate to have what I believe to be the most innovative principal here in the…


By Kephyan Sheppard | August 31, 2019

What a beautiful time to be in DHS!!! The summer season is coming to a close, our version of Friday Night Lights will kickoff soon as our Golden Eagle Football team will soon take the field, and of course our beautiful view hiking trails will be prime for enjoyment. This week I asked a simple…

Danny Holt, “I Chose DHS!”

By Kephyan Sheppard | July 27, 2019

I really appreciate hearing from you! The response last week from our opening, “I Chose DHS” segment was so great that this week I have another one! A while back (In January), I was able to speak with Danny Holt, the accomplished classical musician who launched a series of classical music concerts here in DHS…

Dr. Sandra Lyon:Superintendent of PSUSD

By Kephyan Sheppard | July 6, 2019

As noted in previous publications, we believe that some of the finest schools in the valley are right here in Desert Hot Springs. I have had the honor of interacting on a majority of our campuses and it’s amazing to see educators who not only love to teach, but love the communities they teach in.…

Principal Caroline Cota: Shining Bright in Our City!

By Kephyan Sheppard | June 15, 2019

“The many experiences you had in school and in your community have stretched your mind to its current dimensions, but it is only the beginning. Whether you continue with formal education or not, you are not done learning. So as you go out into the world, take chances, travel, read, be open to other people,…

Mr. Randa – A Teacher Spotlight

By Kephyan Sheppard | June 8, 2019

I have been involved with Palm Springs Unified School District for over 5 years and I have seen firsthand that Desert Hot Springs has some of the finest teachers district wide. Mr. Doug Randa brings energy and passion to his students at Bella Vista Elementary school every day. Watching him around campus and even on…