U.S. Army veteran Kevin Fish has attended many public meetings in the Morongo Basin, to raise public awareness about the extent of homelessness among his service brethren in the Hi Desert. Fish told reporter Dan Stork how he entered upon this mission, what he’s been doing about it, and what he hopes to accomplish…
After moving to the Hi Desert, Fish started a local chapter of the San Diego-based group Vets Cruzin for a Cause. He has focused on homelessness among veterans. He told us that after reading in Veterans Administration records that there are 1,300 known homeless veterans in the Morongo Basin, he went looking for them himself. He told us, “So far I’ve been successful in finding over 290 homeless veterans out in the desert, between Landers and Wonder Valley.” Some live singly (in one case, on the steps of a public building), some in small groups, including bunker-style base camps dug into the desert dirt. In addition to raising public awareness, he has three concrete goals: bringing Veterans Administration assets to the Hi-Desert, to expedite enrollment and processing of veterans; bringing rehabilitative services to homeless veterans who need them; and establishing local shelters for temporary sojourns. He said that he has placed 27 men in shelters in San Bernardino, Loma Linda, and San Diego. Fish operates a thrift shop, Change for Vets, at 5758 Adobe Road, Suite B, in Twentynine Palms. He described one pressing need: “I’m looking for someone that has a passenger van that is willing to volunteer some time so we can transport some of these veterans to Loma Linda, to the VA center, so that way I can get them started on their VA benefits.” Fish would also appreciate donations of food, clothing, and items for hygiene kits, or cash to buy such things. You can reach Kevin Fish at the store, or via email or phone: 760-368-8715 and

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