Fire station will become place for homeless

The county's fire station in Panorama Heights has been closed for more than a decade. Located just southeast of Copper Mountain College, the station is slated to become a day-use facility for homeless people.

SAN BERNARDINO — The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors tackled issues of homelessness and services for elders at its Tuesday meeting.

Acting as the governing body of the county fire protection district, the board approved a lease agreement with the Family Assistance Program that will turn Fire Station 35 in Joshua Tree into a day-use homeless facility.

The building, located on Sierra Avenue in the Panorama Heights area, covers about 2,760 square feet, including living quarters and a kitchen.

The proposal for the Family Assistance Program may include using the space to provide a place to bathe and rest for the local homeless community.

The lease has been approved through April 2024, with the Family Assistance Program paying the county one dollar a year. No information was released about when the facility will open.

Separate from this project, the County was approved to receive the California Emergency Aid Program, a one-time block grant from the state, said Office of Homeless Services Chief Tom Hernandez.

“Most of the funds went to emergency services, rental assistance and subsidies,” said Hernandez. “One program to apply through capital improvements was the Morongo Basin project.”

From this grant, an additional $195,000 was also allocated to the Morongo Unified School District for homeless services.

Also on Tuesday, the supervisors Sharon Nevins, director of Aging and Adult Services, told the board money has been allocated to Reach Out Morongo Basin and other county nonprofits to support seniors.

Reach Out will receive $50,000 for its family caregiver support program and $30,000 was allocated toward senior support services.

“These programs are designed to serve our seniors,” Nevins said. “Designed to make sure that they can successfully age in place.”

(2) comments


You might as well place it in Siberia. Who's going to traipse for miles out of town for a meal and shower? And then go back on the streets for the night . Put it where it's needed. Joshua Tree is a homeless mecca these days and it's not all because of drug abuse. A lot of these kids are throw-aways- abused and neglected. Being young and rootless isn't a crime, and young backpackers have been part of California's scenery for many decades. There's millions of people just around the corner from here so don't act so shocked when there's a bit of an overflow. A lot of kids are lost in this high-tech economy and culture and are searching for some sort of direction. Classifying them all as rabid addicts and bums is just a cheap way to avoid dealing with the problem, So is a shelter in the middle of nowhere.


I think the old elementary school in J T could be a better location .
Much needed services could be set up there .

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