The April meeting of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council centered on homelessness. Reporter Dan Stork says that it ranged far beyond that, taking in traffic safety, solar energy, road conditions, and more…
Homelessness was the topic of the featured informational presentation at the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meeting on Monday night. Rae Packard, who has an educational background and experience in social work, sketched the national and regional dimensions of homelessness. She listed factors that lead to homelessness – poverty, domestic violence, drug addiction, mental illness – and emphasized that children comprise a disproportionately large part of the homeless population. She estimates that there are 800 homeless people in the Morongo Basin. Packard urged participation in the meetings of Morongo Basin Haven. See mbhaven.org for details. MAC Chairman Mike Lipsitz talked up the Homeowners Solar Expo scheduled for April 26 at the JT Community Center. He noted that the financial terms for the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity loan program may be better than published reports suggest. CHP and Sheriff Department representatives acknowledged that April has been a horrible month so far for local traffic safety, and urged increased awareness while driving. Sheriff’s Lt. Wilke said he could not comment on the status of particular officer-involved crashes, but assured attendees that he and the Department take it very seriously.
Community reports ranged widely. Among them: Spruce-up efforts in Pioneertown; the dangers of soft roadsides in Wonder Valley; an effort to revitalize the senior nutrition program in Morongo Valley; the fate of Coyote Hole. The MAC meetings can be viewed in full on YouTube.