BARSTOW The State Director for Senator Dianne Feinstein, Trevor Daley, toured Desert Manna last week to visit the homeless shelter and review its facilities and programs.

Desert Manna Executive Director Sheri Randolph said it was the only visit to a High Desert shelter that Daley made, and he was able to witness homelessness and hunger in San Bernardino County from the frontlines.

"We welcome Senator Feinstein's attention on these issues," Randolph said. "Hunger and homelessness are regional and national problems and we won't be able to solve them until all of us work together."

Daley told them last Tuesday that Feinstein is concerned that the county has experienced the largest increase in the country and state in the number of homeless families and children, according to Randolph.

Feinstein is looking at ways to increase the amount of funding received by nonprofit agencies providing food and shelter in the county, according to a Desert Manna news release. Per capita the county receives a low amount of funding from both private foundations and government grants.

"With the whole budget (crisis) and sequestration the big question, of course, is how are the homeless programs going to be affected?" Randolph said.

The homeless shelter's operations began in 1989 and have expanded over the years to include more than 55,000 services including an extensive food program and pantry, low-income utility assistance and more. In December, it was reported that the shelter provides food to about 10 percent of the Barstow community or 2,000 people a month.

To contact Desert Manna visit or call 760-256-7797.

Contact the writer: or 760-256-4123.