Group offers $500 to every family at Oasis Mobile Home Park as water problems continue

·2 min read
Oasis Mobile Home Park has been repeatedly cited by the Environmental Protection Agency for dangerous levels of arsenic in water provided to residents.
Oasis Mobile Home Park has been repeatedly cited by the Environmental Protection Agency for dangerous levels of arsenic in water provided to residents.

A nonprofit organization is offering a one-time $500 check to each household at Oasis Mobile Home Park in Thermal to help residents overcome hardship, including a lack of access to safe drinking water.

To apply for the aid, Oasis residents must call TODEC at 1-888-863-3291 starting on Monday, Aug. 15. To qualify, people will have to prove they currently reside at the mobile home park.

An estimated 238 families live at Oasis, and Luz Gallegos, executive director at TODEC, said the organization aims to help every one, using money it's received in donations.

If that many households get 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 listening to (residents) and elevating their realities, especially with short-term solutions," Gallegos said.

Referring to the pledges 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. Everybody's been allocating money to relocate these families, but we can't wait. And we are helping them with immediate needs."

Oasis Mobile Home Park residents will be able to apply for $500 in financial assistance from the nonprofit organization TODEC starting on Monday, Aug. 15.
Oasis Mobile Home Park residents will be able to apply for $500 in financial assistance from the nonprofit organization TODEC starting on Monday, Aug. 15.

Oasis has been repeatedly cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for having water that is contaminated with high levels of arsenic. Last month, residents said they again received a notice from the EPA warning them not to drink, bathe or cook with the water at the park.

During 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 notice and quickly requested that the county and emergency services "once again step up and deliver clean water to our residents."

More: County OKs spending $7M of state funds for housing in Oasis; residents say they were left out

More: Feds meet with Oasis Mobile Home Park residents living with contaminated water in Thermal

Clean water is now being delivered to Oasis Mobile Home Park homes, and the Coachella Valley Unified School District is letting residents use showers at schools. But Gallegos said Oasis families will still benefit from the $500 assistance "to use in whichever way they want."

Because many of the residents at Oasis are immigrants, Gallegos said they may not have access to safety net programs.

"They are behind on utilities, gas is expensive, also with the kids going back to school, they've been experiencing hardships. And with seasonal work in the farmworker community, it's sometimes even more difficult," she said.

Those wanting to contribute to TODEC's donation fund can do so online by visiting todec.org/donate.

Eliana Perez covers the eastern Coachella Valley. Reach her at eliana.perez@thedesertsun or on Twitter @ElianaPress. 

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Amid water problems, Oasis Mobile Home Park residents can get $500