The nonprofit Coachella Valley Housing Coalition mission to improve the lives of low-income families means more than satisfying its goal to put them into quality housing. It also introduces disadvantaged youths to opera and tennis, often considered pastimes for the wealthy.
Cathedral City resident and volunteer Barbara Mortenson buys tickets to live telecasts of New York Metropolitan operas at Century Theatres in Rancho Mirage. The coalition pays for transportation and food for about 25 young people per opera. The 2008-2009 season included 12 operas for children living in coalition housing developments.
In the summer, the coalition partners with the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and other sponsors to send children to tennis camp. This summer, 50 children attended at no cost. In addition to learning the game, the children learn sportsmanship, teamwork, and other skills for success.
During the school year, the coalition sponsors after-school programs, mariachi music and ballet folklorico dance lessons, bilingual computer technology programs, and English as a second language classes.