Arlene Rosenthal, who has led the efforts at homeless services provider Well in the Desert as its president for the past two decades, has retired from the role in order to spend time focusing on her health and family, representatives of the organization announced Sunday.
Driving the news: Last week, Rosenthal was elected president emeritus by the organization’s board. J. Matthew Naylor was selected as acting president and Dennis Duca named acting vice president. Cardriner Bowden remains in her role as treasurer and Dennis Jory continues as secretary.
Looking back: Rosenthal graduated from UCLA with a degree in English literature and later received her teaching credential from UC Berkley. After landing in the desert in 1973, she wrote on the organization’s website, “My spirit of community stuck and I found myself involved in social change and working in organizations where I could help to bring that about for those who were unable to advocate for themselves.”
- She began as a board member at Well in the Desert and later was elected president. She has also served on a number of other local boards, including Stroke Activities Center, Mizell Center, Desert Aids Foundation, and Opera Guild, helping to create Opera under the Stars.
Bigger picture: Rosenthal is best known for her advocacy for the homeless, emphasizing that Well in the Desert serves everyone as it provides essential services through its facilities in Palm Springs and through area churches where meals are served.
- “Well in the Desert has always acted as a center for people who need to be respected,” she said in a news release issued Sunday evening. “We have offered them much-needed meals, medical services, transportation, housing, clothing, counseling and referrals to other agencies.”
Details: To learn more about Well in the Desert, visit its website here.