Last year our first Affordable Housing and Homelessness Panel was so packed and informational that our members requested a Part II! On Wednesday, September 26th the BIA held our fourth Desert Event of 2018, Part II of our Affordable Housing and Homelessness Luncheon. Bellatrix Classic Club generously hosted BIA members, guests, elected officials and BIA Staff from both your local and state building industry representatives. We mirrored last year’s sock drive, collecting new socks to place in your HomeAid Essentials Pack to give out to the homeless in our community. We had such an excess of donations that not only did we give some to HomeAid Inland Empire, but we also donated to Coachella Valley Rescue Mission—an integral part of addressing homelessness in the Coachella Valley.
Mayor of Indian Wells, Kimberly Muzik, led us in our Pledge of Allegiance while Bill Blankenship, CEO of the BIA Riverside County Chapter, kicked off the announcements and extended our gratitude to all our sponsors and partners. Again, thank you to our event sponsors:
Applied Photography ● Chelsea Investment Corporation ● Fusion Sign & Design ● GMEP Engineers ● Innovative Structural ● La Entrada ● WNC
Our panelists included: Mayor of Palm Desert Sabby Jonathan representing CVAG’s Homelessness Committee as Chair of the committee, Dan Horn, President of Palm Communities, Tony Mize, Vice President of Acquisitions of National Core and Ray Osborne, HomeAid Inland Empire. Overall, the panelists covered many topics such as current affordable housing projects, strategies to combat homelessness, and the status of our homeless population in the Coachella Valley.
Mr. Horn started the panel off explaining the challenges of affordable housing, including examining proposed State initiatives, and shared details of successful housing models such as Housing First. Mr. Horn touched on his 8 projects that provide housing and services for the homeless and pitched the importance of funding affordable housing efforts. His first project was completed in 2010 and his efforts continue to aid in the availability of affordable housing.
Mayor Jonathan focused expressing the dire need for regional solutions to address homelessness and how CVAG Homelessness Committee and other collaborators are continuing to work together. He ran through statistics sharing the successes on the past year including that fact that 433 individuals are now out of a housing crisis, due to the hard work and collaboration of our community.
Mr. Mize shared his presentation titled: "Working Together to House the Coachella Valley," taking the audience through what National CORE is, and how this national non-profit affordable housing development corporation aids the community in combating homelessness. National CORE projects in the Coachella Valley include a project BIA/HomeAid is currently collaborating on in Cathedral City. Mr. Mize finished his presentation by covering recent National CORE projects throughout the State of California including pictures and valuable statistics.
Mr. Osborne concluded the panel with explaining how HomeAid Inland Empire, the non-profit, 501-C3 is a part of the Riverside County Building Industry Association. HomeAid Inland Empire has been in Riverside county for 28 years, with 43 shelters built, 1,102 emergency shelters and transitional living beds as well shelter facilities throughout out County. Mr. Osborne concluded with pictures of completed projects and current projects, such as Cathedral Palms in Cathedral City.
Following their informative presentations, Clint Lorimore, our BIA Governmental Affairs Director, provided the mics for our audience questions centered on furthering solutions in combating homelessness in our community.
Thank you again to all who participated in our 2018 Salton Sea Luncheon Panel!