Martha’s Village and Kitchen will begin offering services for those experiencing homelessness at the city’s former Boxing Club site on Tuesday, city officials announced Monday.
The start of services at the site, located at 225 S. El Cielo Road, comes after months of public sparring between elected officials and the president of Well in the Desert, who continued to operate a drop-in cooling center for the homeless this summer in the Baristo Park neighborhood after the city refused to renew its permit.
That vote, on June 24, followed years of frustration expressed by neighbors of the facility, 441 S. Calle Encilia, who frequently reported illegal and immoral activity near their homes. Palm Springs police had confirmed the neighbors’ reports, and local business owners expressed similar frustrations.
When fully operational in the coming weeks, the Boxing Club facility will see a heating and cooling center, as well as showers and laundry services for homeless individuals. Other services, such as case management, housing assistance, and obtaining benefits such as health, disability, and Social Security, will also be offered.
Martha’s staff will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating the program’s activities and collecting and analyzing statistical records, client intake data, program participation, and demographic profiles.
The Boxing Club facility will be open from 8 AM until 5 PM seven days a week. It joins another facility in Palm Springs — a 24/7 overnight shelter with a cooling center — currently operated by Martha’s Village at Palm Springs Methodist Church, 555 E. Alejo Rd.
It was not immediately known whether Well in the Desert would be involved in the Boxing Club operation. It does, however, plan to continue offering services in the city, including meal service and food distribution at multiple locations.