Twentynine Palms: Homeless man found froze overnight alongside city-owned Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center?

Twentynine Palms boast of a $12 million surplus, but at the same time lets people freeze on a cement slab alongside of the visitors center?

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29 palms chamber of commerce

Wow, people freezing to death near the doors steps of a locked, heated downtown city building? 

A homeless man was found Thursday morning next to the Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.  That previous night, a cold winter weather front with freezing wind chills settled over the remote, desert city-town.

The homeless man’s body was found on a cement slab in a tiny cemented area called Bucklin Park, next to the city-owned Chamber Building.

Melody Stahl, reached at chamber offices by local media, said the man was probably a homeless person who froze overnight.

Neither the city nor the county have any overnight warming facilities — or homeless shelters — in the Morongo Basin for people without a home.

The county is about to take its annual homeless count in the Basin. They are looking for unpaid volunteers in our severe depressed area to do the count.  The count is directly linked to state and federal funds.

The county recently funded the building of a recovery center in the Basin. But does the city genuinely care about the homeless? The city theatrics usually ends with a few huffs of flamboyant rhetoric about the homeless vets and Americans, accomplishing nothing but  anticlimactic bunk and a perception of caring.

The San Bernardino County keeps doing their yearly homeless count in 29 Palms and Yucca Valley, but what good is that without an overnight warming facility to keep homeless Americans alive when the winter temp dips to hypothermic conditions?

Although the coroner’s report is not yet available, of course it possible to die of exposure last night, the night before, and tonight without shelter.

Why can’t the city open the community center during freezing winter nights? Why can’t that on occasion be a life-giving overnight warming center?

The city give to those organizations whom they are long-time friends with, but what do they do for homeless people in 29 Palms during severe winter nights when the temperature dips to freezing and hypothermia conditions? Nada. 

Updated: Friday, Dec. 22



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4 Responses to Twentynine Palms: Homeless man found froze overnight alongside city-owned Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center?

  1. Dan OBrien
    Dan OBrien December 23, 2017 at 10:41 am

    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.

    Where were the 501c’s. where were the churches? Where was I for God Sake?

  2. Papparatzi
    Papparatzi December 29, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    It’s hard to know whether he was turned away by someone or possibly never asked for help. What we do know is that it wouldn’t be very hard to provide some sort of temporary shelter in times of inclement weather for anyone that is in need. Could have been a stranded motorist with kids etc. What a sad way to perish.

  3. Anonymous June 19, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    His name was Ricky J. Stafford, he was a 12 yr. Air Force veteran, who had become homeless because he had to pay some enormous hospital bills that his mother had incurred and it left him destitute and homeless, this should have never happened in this day and time, what a shame!

  4. Steve K. June 19, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    His name was Rick Stafford a 12 yr. Air Force Air Traffic Control Veteran, he had become destitute and homeless because he had the burden of paying some enormous hospital bills that his mother had incurred, this should never have happened in this day and time, what a shame!


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