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Palm Springs City Council approves additional $3M for homeless navigation center

The Palm Spring City Council unanimously approved an additional $3 million in funding for the homeless navigation center, however, some concerns were raised over the project's timeline.

The homeless navigation center was originally approved last year with $20 million in state and federal funds and will be constructed, after much debate, in the northern part of Palm Springs.

The Navigation Center will provide 80 temporary housing units to house individuals and families while providing on-site supportive programming.

City documents show that the request for additional funds comes as a result of rising operating costs.

"Project costs have increased since the original estimate due to additions to the project scope and increases in the costs of construction materials," reads the city council agenda.

There is no direct timeline as to when the center will be open and operational, which Councilmember Lisa Middleton brought attention to during Thursday's presentation.

"That's not good enough, Jay"

Councilmember Middleton to Jay Virata, the city's director of community & economic development

"... we need a timeline that is going to work. And there is no higher priority in the city than getting this open and as I have listened to the presentation this evening, I am thrilled with the attention that's being given. But I am very fearful that we are planning this thing to death, and we will not get it open," Middleton said. "There is no higher priority in the city than getting this facility open. And whatever resources are needed to get it open. We need to know them now. And we need to move much faster than a September date."

Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Bernstein echoed some of Middleton's thoughts.

"I have to say the plans look better than I thought they would, but if there are things which can be done without delaying, you know, and after it opens, getting this open as soon as possible is more important than some of these additions," Bernstein said. "I mean, they should happen but I don't want to delay it to have it perfect and I think the timing is really key. And I think you need to have an exact timeline when this is going to open and at least be functional, if not finished."

Councilmember Christy Holstege noted that there are timelines to get the funding deployed and the center open. Virata noted that the first deadline is July, which the city is working with the state to extend the deadlines.

Greg Rodriguez, Riverside County's Deputy Director of Housing and Workforce Solutions, added that this isn't the only project being delayed as it is an issue with "Project Homekey" projects throughout the state.

On Wednesday, officials told News Channel 3's Tatum Larsen that they plan to break ground at the site next month.

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.

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Article Topic Follows: Homeless

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Jesus Reyes


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