By Peter Bradley
For a new outreach ministry in a parish, the story of Martha’s Village is both inspirational and encouraging.
In 1990, a dedicated group of parishioners from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Indio began serving 30 hot meals a week to people in need from the local area. As the years went on, new programs and services were added. A partnership with Father Joe’s Village and St. Vincent de Paul from San Diego brought new support and possibilities.
In 2001, the dream of a new facility at 83-791 Date Avenue in Indio became a reality through the donation of land from Tom and Rita Martin and the generous support of Dan Dunlap. Today, Martha’s Village has transformed into an oasis of hope in the desert and has become the Coachella Valley’s largest provider of residential and supportive services for the homeless.
The mission of Martha’s Village is to “serve our neighbors by responding to their needs with food, clothing, shelter and an opportunity to become self-sufficient by affirming their dignity with love, compassion and respect.”
The comprehensive services provided by Martha’s Village are anchored by a 120 bed residential facility serving the homeless with a daily meal program. Additional social services include case management,
a licensed children’s program, career and education center, recovery services, emergency assistance and an onsite medical clinic.
Martha’s Village served over 6,100 people in need last year and it is a collaborative partner within the Riverside City and County Continuum of Care composed of over 100 public and private agencies.
The current President and CEO at Martha’s Village, Linda Barrack, reflected on her decision to join Martha’s Village. After working in the social service arena for three decades in the Coachella Valley,
Linda shared that she “came out of retirement to work at Martha’s Village because of the quality services being provided.”