This article originally appeared in the Desert Sun, January 2022

Since 1971, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission (CVRM) has been providing a broad range of services to help those in need get back on their feet. The organization provides 30,000 hot meals to men, women, and children every month. This includes two hot meals for the public and three for residents. CVRM also provides groceries for 300 families a week.

Currently, CVRM provides 190 clients with emergency and residential shelter and has a capacity of 225. This includes family rooms that can accommodate women and their young children. Many of these women come to the shelter to escape violence and abuse at home. The organization also provides medical care through on-site partners Health to Hope Clinic, mental health assessments, clothing, and vocational training.

“We are a life-changing nonprofit with life-changing programs that give people the opportunity to better themselves and become a productive member of society,” CVRM’s Development Director, Scott Wolf, said.

Over the last couple of years, the CVRM has faced the challenges of the pandemic head-on, focusing on the safety, happiness, and health of its clients and staff. In addition to implementing precautions against the spread of infection, the organization continues to require that all clients and staff test negative for COVID-19, partnering with health care providers to get fast results. The organization has reduced the number of beds available in order to accommodate social distancing and remains open to those who need services.

Every client at CVRM has a unique story that is impactful, and many of their stories are tragic, Wolf said. The organization’s programming offers these families the hope, support, and tools they need to be self-sufficient once again. Recently, clients John and his pregnant wife Susan came to CVRM with their children after John lost his job and the family was evicted. John participated in the organization’s men’s program while Susan and the children went into the family shelter. Susan gave birth to a healthy baby in the safety of the shelter while John worked toward finding employment. He now has a secure job, and the family is moving into an apartment of their own.

“The people that we serve are real people with names and stories,” Wolf said. “They just need a safe place to regroup, get the help they need and return to being productive members of society.”

Recently, CVRM received a grant from the Coachella Valley Fund through the Inland Empire Community Foundation to support its work. The organization depends on donations and grants to provide services and is currently experiencing a downturn in donations. This has been especially challenging in the face of not being able to hold fundraising events.

CVRM is in need of in-kind donations, especially of items that are in high demand and have been impacted by the supply chain challenges. This includes clothing, nonperishable food, diapers, and wipes for babies. The organization accommodates contactless drop-offs of donations and also has donation trucks that will come to donors’ homes for pickups. Supporters can also donate funds through the organization’s website.

The organization’s 51st Anniversary Gala will be held on Mar 10 at the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells, and the community can support the organization by attending. The event will include appetizers, drinks, a silent auction, and entertainment. CVRM also welcomes new sponsorships for the gala.

“We have enjoyed the support of the community over the last 51 years, and we are very grateful,” Wolf said. “The people we serve just want someone to care about them and give them a hand up and not a hand down.”

More Information: www.cvrm.org or 760-347-3512