Homeless Patients In Valley Have Nowhere To Go | Indio, California | MyDesert.com
With her knees up to her chin, Gail Dombrowski sat cold and alone inside the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission chapel.
Around her wrist was a hospital-issued medical bracelet.
Dombrowski had just been dropped off by a cab hailed at Eisenhower Medical Center. She was the rescue mission’s latest “drop-off.”
While the valley touts three homeless shelters — one in Palm Springs and two in Indio — it lacks a recuperative care center for the sick homeless to recover after being released from the hospital. But that costs money — funds that local cities, Riverside County and the state just don’t have.
“Everybody seems to think this is a dumping ground,” said Olga Betancourt, program director at the rescue mission.
Since she started at the mission in April, she said there have been at least seven “drop-offs” from local hospitals.
Martha’s Village and Kitchen, which no longer runs an emergency overnight shelter, has seen its share of ill homeless as well.
“There’s no safety net for a lot of these people,” said John Wolohan, director and vice president of Martha’s.
Hospital officials are adamant they follow regulatory guidelines for the discharge of all patients and do not release anyone if they are still in need of treatment.