A non-profit organization offers a one-time sum of $500 check to every household at Oasis Mobile Home Park in Thermal to help residents overcome hardships, including lack of access to clean water.
To request assistance, Oasis residents should call TODEC at 1-888-863-3291 beginning Monday, August 15. To be eligible, people will need to prove that they currently live in Oasis.
An estimated 238 families live in Oasis Mobile Home Park, and Luz Gallegos, executive director of TODEC, said the organization aims to help everyone, using the money it receives from donations.
If that many households received checks, the nonprofit would pay out $119,000.
“We’re just very proud to be able to provide this funding. We’re going to continue to listen to (residents) and uplift their realities, especially with short-term solutions,” Gallegos said.
With reference to promises of tens of millions of dollars from several government agencies to help people move out of Oasis, Gallegos added, “The long-term goal is to relocate. Everyone has allocated money to relocate these families, but we can’t wait. And we’re helping them with immediate needs.”
Oasis has been repeatedly cited by the US Environmental Protection Agency for having water contaminated with high levels of arsenic. Last month, residents said they again received an EPA advisory warning them not to drink, swim or cook with park water.
At a community meeting in late July, Riverside County Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, who represents the Fourth District that includes the Coachella Valley, said he was unaware of the advisory and quickly requested that the county and emergency services “respond and deliver again”. clean water for our residents.”
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Clean water is now being delivered to homes in Oasis Mobile Home Park, and the Coachella Valley Unified School District is allowing residents to use showers at schools. But Gallegos said families at Oasis will still benefit from the $500 assistance “to use as they wish.”
Since many Oasis residents are immigrants, Gallegos said they may not have access to safety net programs.
“They’re behind on utilities, gas is expensive, even with kids going back to school they’re struggling. And with seasonal work in the farmworker community, sometimes it’s even more difficult,” she said.
Those wishing to contribute to the TODEC Donation Fund can do so online by visiting todec.org/donate.
Eliana Perez covers the eastern Coachella Valley. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @ElianaPress.