Disaster Relief for Eastern Coachella Valley Communities

September 26, 2012 /


Duroville was among the Eastern Coachella Valley trailer parks flooded by the September 11 storm. PHOTO: Aurora Saldivar/Coachella Unincorporated


Foundations band together and leverage resources to respond to community health and safety needs; Severe weather event highlights the desperate need for safe, affordable housing in the region


Coachella, Calif. – On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, a storm stalled over the Eastern Coachella Valley (ECV) dropping more than five inches of rain in a span of six hours, flooding homes and roads, stalling out cars, and sending residents to emergency shelters.  The severe weather disproportionately impacted the unincorporated ECV communities of Mecca, Thermal and North Shore which are home to many low-income families that live in over 100 mobile home parks that lack basic infrastructure.

“Many of these mobile home parks have become uninhabitable as unpaved streets and water wells have become contaminated by overflowing sewage ponds,” says Rodolfo Piñon, Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation, “Which illustrates years of continued underinvestment in the region.”

The California Endowment and the Weingart Foundation have partnered to leverage financial resources to grant $125,000 to organizations that have been working diligently to help families and individuals in the Eastern Coachella Valley who were impacted by the severe weather. The two foundations are asking for others to join as the impact of the severe weather has impacted countless families who are in need of basic necessities such as clean water.

“The housing situation in the Eastern Coachella Valley is abysmal and this severe weather event highlights the very urgent need for safe, affordable housing in the region,” said Margarita Luna, Eastern Coachella Valley Program Manager for The California Endowment. “It is unconscionable that families must live in these dire conditions. The impact on their health and well-being is devastating.”


The funding provides general operating support to the following organizations that have and will continue to serve an important role in supporting the affected communities:

American Red Cross of Riverside County – The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Pueblo Unido Community Development Corporation – Pueblo Unido CDC responds to the needs and concerns of underrepresented rural communities of the Eastern Coachella Valley through actively engaging and fostering collaborative efforts among residents and other stakeholders to find viable solutions, leverage critical resources, and bring new opportunities to improve the quality of life for its residents.

Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo – Clinicas is a private, non-profit corporation providing an array of comprehensive, culturally competent primary care and preventive health services to residents throughout Imperial and Riverside County.

Catholic Charities – Catholic Charities provides essential social services that increase the stability, health, and safety of low-income families and those in crisis throughout San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

Lideres Campesinas – Líderes Campesinas develops leadership among campesinas so that they serve as agents of political, social and economic change in the farmworker community.


Other foundations or funding organizations interested in joining the effort can contact Margarita Luna, Program Manager for The California Endowment at [email protected].

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