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In Memoriam Ricky Jay Stafford: Sister of veteran who froze to death admonishes City of Twentynine Palms.

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By: Vicki L. Ahlgrim-Clark

“None of our family had any idea he was homeless. According to your article, 29 Palms has a 12 million dollar surplus, yet there are no homeless shelters available for people to go to when they are starving and/or homeless or both. …losing my brother in this manner will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

My name is Vicki Ahlgrim-Clark. I am the sister of the homeless man who was found frozen to death by the COC [chamber of Commerce] Visitor Center on December 21, 2017.

His name is Ricky Jay Stafford and he was only 59 years old. He was a 12 year veteran of the Air Force and was fluent in Korean and Spanish (and there may be other languages I’m not aware of).  I read your article about my brother in Cactus Thorn. None of our family had any idea he was homeless.

According to your article, 29 Palms has a 12 million dollar surplus, yet there are no homeless shelters available for people to go to when they are starving and/or homeless or both.

I believe I read somewhere the City Council was scheduled to meet in April 2018 and discussion about a readily available homeless shelter was on the agenda. For some reason I can’t find the info on that meeting – if it took place and what they discussed regarding a homeless shelter.

Anyway, would you be able to tell me what went on at that meeting, when it was held etc.? Also, thank you Mr. O’Brien for your comments on December 23, 2017.

Dan OBrien December 23, 2017 — “Shame on us all. We as a community can do better….. Some attempt at sheltering these folks during bad weather should be a community priority.”

I know that losing my brother in this manner will haunt me for the rest of my life. I think of his last hours on this earth must have been.


Vicki is the sister of  12-year veteran Ricky Jay Stafford. Mr. Stafford, homeless and reluctant to contact family,  froze to death in last December during a brutal cold snap alongside a heated city building (Chamber of Commerce/Visitor’s Center). The city council has has heard reports and comment about the unsheltered in the city. The  council carefully listens, they patronize, but have consistently and veritably done nothing to house unsheltered veterans, seniors, and other homeless. Many Morongo Basin homeless spend nights in their vehicles, away from county homeless counters. Many are respectable seniors too ashamed to come out of the shadows. Even though the city and the town of Yucca Valley are the most depressed areas in the largest county in the U.S., both councils pay lavish praise to veterans, but do nothing. They pretends to care about people. Homeless and unsheltered  veterans ad others have become non-people in the Morongo Basin.  
Twentynine Palms: Homeless man found froze overnight alongside city-owned Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center
Coroner identifies two found dead in separate incidents
Morongo Basin holidays a time of hope, frustration and hardship for homeless

 

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