A new strategic collaboration between JFS Desert and the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert allows for greater access of JFS services by residents who live in the Eastern Coachella Valley, and especially for those with limited Internet access, privacy, or whose “smart” device are not reliable. The alliance creates a formal relationship between the two agencies, which had previously made referrals to each other’s programs.

Staffs from both organizations are working together to provide training, reliable Internet services, and understanding on how to facilitate the needs of some of the most vulnerable clients in the Coachella Valley’s eastern communities.

Unreliable or non-existent broadband Internet service is an unfortunate reality for many Coachella Valley residents. For others, attempting to participate in an interactive telecare counseling session while holding a cell phone or dealing with children, whose activities may interrupt appointments, is far from ideal. Many clients find themselves in less-than-ideal settings when it comes to connecting with JFS Desert personnel. Through this partnership, JFS Desert and the LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert (“The Center”) will be able to offer members of the community a private space that is conducive to counseling sessions or interactions with case managers.

Located at The Center Coachella (1515 6th Street, Coachella, CA), JFS Desert clients in the East Valley will be able to meet in private for services such as telecare counseling or providing case managers with important documentation.

“It’s an honor to collaborate with The Center to extend JFS services to Valley residents who live in and around Coachella,” says JFS Executive Director Kraig Johnson. “I greatly appreciate their willingness to collaborate to increase access for all Valley residents to needed services.”

All JFS Desert clients may utilize the space, and anyone who believes accessing it will improve their experience is encouraged to inquire about its use with their JFS contact. The Center staff in Coachella will be able to schedule appointments for JFS Desert clients needing services on a first-come, first-serve basis. If necessary, clients will receive instruction for the use of the computer and scanner equipment for their appointment from a representative at The Center.

Johnson extended his thanks on behalf of JFS Desert to LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert CEO and Executive Director Rob Wheeler and Lex Ortega, Director of Innovation and Engagement, for their vision and alliance.

Wheeler says that he is eager and excited about the partnership with JFS, expressing his immense appreciation for Kraig Johnson and the JFS team for their vision and collaboration.

“As two organizations that are deeply aware of mental health needs across the Coachella Valley, this is a unique opportunity to reach a community of people historically disenfranchised in medical and mental health services,” said Wheeler. “People with inadequate internet access, those who struggle with insufficient privacy when talking to a therapist or can’t drive 40 minutes to see a counselor or caseworker can come to The Center Coachella and access high-quality, private telecare from JFS right in the heart of the city.”