Spotlight on: Rob Woronoff of Sanctuary Palm Springs

Rob Woronoff

Sanctuary Palm Springs (SPS), the first of its kind home for LGBTQ foster youth and their allies in the Coachella Valley, is pleased to announce that Rob Woronoff, a nationally-recognized expert on the needs of LGBTQ foster youth, has been appointed as the new Executive Director for the organization.

The Executive Director (ED) of Sanctuary Palm Springs reports directly to the Board of Directors and will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the SPS staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission.

LD Thompson and David Rothmiller, Co-Founders

LD Thompson, Co-Founder of SPS said of the selection: “Rob Woronoff is a tremendous addition to Sanctuary Palm Springs. As a leading expert on LGBT+ youth in foster care, Rob has a vast network of resources and a knowledge base that will certainly spur SPS on to its next level of success.”

Rob has worked with and on behalf of LGBTQ children, youth, and families for nearly 30 years. A few of the positions Rob has held include several years as the National Director of LGBTQ Services with the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) in Washington, DC, where he  led national efforts to strengthen the capacity of America’s child welfare system to deal equitably and competently with LGBTQ youth and families; the director of the Putting Pride into Practice Project, a project designed to improve services for LGBTQ foster youth in several counties throughout California; and as director of LGBTQ Services and Peer Programs at The Home for Little Wanderers in Boston, Rob developed several adolescent programs including New England’s first group home for LGBTQ youth.

Rob was co-chair of the LGBTQ training sub-committee of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, and served on the Administration and Staffing Committee of the California Board of State and Community Corrections, as well as on advisory boards for the HRC Foundation, National CASA, the American Bar Association, the Tides Foundation, Foster More, and others. Rob was the principal author of Out of the Margins: A Report on Regional Listening Forums Highlighting the Experiences of LGBTQ Youth in Care, served as co-editor of the first LGBTQ special edition of the journal Child Welfare, was a consulting editor on the ACLU’s publication Too High a Price: The Case Against Restricting Gay Parenting, and has authored numerous published articles on supportive care for LGBTQ youth.

Rob has delivered presentations and speeches at more than 100 conferences and has provided training to thousands of social workers, foster parents, attorneys, law enforcement and corrections officials, medical and mental health professionals, and other advocates for children and families throughout the country. Rob holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Drama School at Carnegie-Mellon University and a Master of Science degree in Human Services Program Development from the University of Massachusetts. He wrote and produced the documentary short film Tyler/Berdie about a gay foster child and his supportive foster mother, and was a consulting producer on the Emmy-nominated documentary Transformation about transgender youth for MTV. Rob was a licensed foster parent through Child and Family Services Agency in Washington, DC.

SPS Co-Founder David Rothmiller added: “An important role for any E.D. is media communications. Rob Woronoff comes to SPS completely media-ready. His work has been featured in Time, The Advocate, CNN, and USA Today (among others). He has appeared as a featured expert addressing adoption by LGBT parents on National Public Radio’s On Point and Talk of the Nation.”

About Sanctuary Palm Springs:

At Sanctuary Palm Springs, LGBTQ foster youth ages 18-21 live in a beautiful home, are provided respect and support, work at least 80 hours per month, go to college or vocational school or study for the GED, and with the help of dedicated staff and volunteers, gain the life skills needed to be productive and successful members of society. Visit for more information.

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Falling for Mod: Modernism Show & Sale is October 19th - 21st!

Happy almost fall, y’all! Got a great event for your calendars: the fifth annual Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale – Fall Edition, held during Modernism Week’s Fall Preview October 19-21, 2018, will showcase 40 premier national and international decorative and fine arts dealers. This popular event is held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, located at 277 North Avenida Caballeros in Palm Springs, CA, and is a more intimate version of the annual Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale held in February.

A festive Opening Night Party and Early Buying Preview Reception benefiting Modernism Week will be held […]

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2018 Palm Springs Pride Honors Awards Recognizes Seven Palm Springs Residents & A Community Organization

Greater Palm Springs Pride announced today the recipients of its 2018 Pride Honors Awards. The prestigious Pride Honors are presented annually to individuals to recognize their efforts in raising awareness and furthering the causes of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their allies. The awards ceremony is September 26, 2018, at the Hilton Palm Springs.

Five of the seven awards celebrate exceptional women from all walks of life who are making a difference for all residents of Palm Springs. Award recipients include two educators who have influenced generations of youth, and a local chapter of a worldwide nonprofit […]

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Modernism Week Announces Fall Preview 2018 Schedule!

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Modernism Week’s 2018 Fall Preview will take place October 18-21 at various locations throughout Greater Palm Springs. A full schedule of events featuring more than 50 events may be viewed online at; tickets may be purchased through the site now as well. The weekend’s events provide attendees with a sampling of the events and activities that will be offered during the annual 11-day festival in February 2019. Highlights of the October Fall Preview include a wide range of events in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Indian Wells including walking tours, Premier Double Decker Architectural Bus […]

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It's Almost Time for the August Edition of SPLASH HOUSE!

Goldenvoice (c) Splash House

Get ready, Palm Springs—it’s almost time for the August edition of Splash House! The 6th annual Splash House will return to Palm Springs, CA, August 10-12, 2018, for its second summer run (the first week of Splash House was June 8 – 10). Hosting the best-in-house music across three resorts, The Saguaro Palm Springs, Riviera Palm Springs, and Renaissance Palm Springs, with each featuring a poolside stage, Splash House has quickly become a Southern California staple, not to be missed.

From Frank Sinatra to the modern socialite, Palm Springs has long been a legendary desert haven and SoCal playground.  Its […]

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From Palms to Pines: Idyllwild's 25th Annual


One of the things I love most about Palm Springs (in addition to the natural beauty, sunshine, mountains, arts and culture, philanthropy, architecture, design, and vibrant food and wine scenes) is its proximity to so many other fun getaways within easy driving distance. And one of my favorite day trips from Palm Springs is Idyllwild! And don’t get me started on how much I love jazz…

Idyllwild Arts will present the 25th Annual Jazz in the Pines August 10–12, 2018 in Idyllwild, California. And for a very good cause—the beloved jazz event benefits Idyllwild Art Academy Scholarship Program. The three-day […]

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OUTstanding Voices: Palm Springs Leaders Recognized During Pride Month

As the city of Palm Springs turns 80 years old and during the worldwide Pride Month in June, Palm Springs Pride announced it is recognizing the contributions and achievements of 80 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender leaders and allies as OUTstanding Voices from Palm Springs.

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Is There Life Out There? Find Out At "Contact In The Desert"!

Interest in Contact in the Desert, the largest UFO conference in the world, is surging due to a recent story in the New York Times detailing some of the findings of a “mysterious UFO program,” that included video of a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet encountering an unknown flying object. The video was released by the Defense Department’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, an initiative funded from 2007 to 2012 by then Senate majority leader Harry Reid. The article details a 22 million-dollar program hidden deep within the Pentagon budget with the expressed intent “to investigate aerial threats,” including what the military preferred […]

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“Fly Local” — Why Everyone Wins When You Fly Via Palm Springs International Airport

Photo: Destination 360

It’s darling. It’s easy. It’s stylish. It’s close. No, I’m not talking about the latest hot boutique, restaurant, or nightspot, I’m talking about our own Palm Springs International Airport. Turns out a lot of other people are too. In fact, the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce (GCVCC), in partnership with the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, has announced the launch of “Fly PSP First,” a regional public service campaign designed to highlight the economic impact of the Palm Springs International Airport (PSP). This “Fly Local” campaign will encourage both local business and residents […]

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Women Who Lead Luncheon with Trina Turk at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage

Trina Turk

Join Palm Springs Life for the Women Who Lead Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage. Palm Springs Life presents a celebration of six remarkable women in the Coachella Valley. These leaders and role models — both in business and in life — are bettering our community through their extraordinary accomplishments and dedication. Join us as we honor the commitment, vision, and talents that have made these women the Women Who Lead in 2018.

The event’s featured keynote speaker is Trina Turk. Ms. Turk is a California-based and California-inspired fashion and lifestyle designer, businesswoman, and philanthropist, who opened her eponymous […]

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