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Advancing Community wellness in the Coachella Valley

District awards $540K in grants for a senior center, homeless shelter, bloodmobile and more

Five lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling; the background is dark gray with "Grants" in bright yellow. The middle bulb is on.
Since February, the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation has awarded more than half a million dollars to a variety of nonprofit programs that benefit Coachella Valley residents. The funds will be used to support behavioral health staff, a bloodmobile, homeless shelter, and senior center.

Here's the breakdown of the grant awards, totaling $540,905:

  • Grant #1170, approved February 23, allocates $80,000 to partially fund the salaries of eight personnel with Jewish Family Service of the Desert (JFS): five licensed marriage and family therapists and three licensed clinical social workers. JFS has provided counseling services to thousands of underserved residents since 1999, and now has 1,200 clients.

  • Grant #1174, approved March 23, provides $100,000 toward the geriatric case management program at Mizell Senior Center. It is a new service that emerged out of assessing homebound Meals on Wheels clients and coordinating service linkages with Riverside County’s Office On Aging. Mizell has supported and promoted healthy aging in the valley for four decades.

  • Grant #1141 awards $210,905 to Martha's Village and Kitchen for homeless housing with wrap-around services. Located in Indio, Martha's is expanding its services to reach more homeless individuals in Desert Hot Springs and Mecca, as well as increase its homeless beds by 10 at its Indio campus. The grant was approved at the March 23 Board meeting.

  • Grant #1171, also approved March 23, allocates $150,000 to LifeStream Blood Bank to offset the purchase of a bloodmobile and 12,000 COVID antibody test kits. Blood donations increased in 2020, with one contributing factor being LifeStream's evolution to include mini-physicals and testing for COVID-19 antibodies.

“Desert Healthcare District and Foundation has once again proven to be a community wellness champion with a most generous $150,000 grant to LifeStream,” said Rick Axelrod, MD, LifeStream Blood Bank’s president/CEO and medical director. “This gift makes great strides in fulfilling our 2 for 2 Community Campaign goal to purchase two new bloodmobiles to replace two units that must be retired at years’ end.

“We are most appreciative to Desert Healthcare for its long-term focus on care, as this grant will benefit future local patients and give comfort to their loved ones.” 
The District and Foundation awards grants in five funding strategic areas: Healthcare Infrastructure and ServicesBehavioral Health/Mental HealthHomelessnessVital Human Services to People with Chronic Conditions; and Economic Protection, Recovery, and Food Security. To learn more about the grant program, visit here.

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About the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation
The Desert Healthcare District is a local government agency formed in 1948. Its mission is to achieve optimal health at all stages of life for all District residents. The District includes more than 400,000 residents and encompasses the entire Coachella Valley. The District and Desert Healthcare Foundation, together, are one of the largest funders in the valley. These funds are used to assist residents — especially the underserved — in accessing vitally needed resources, such as primary and behavioral healthcare, housing, food, and transportation to medical appointments.