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Emergency navigation center proposed as Palm Springs looks to address growing homeless population

Officials with the city of Palm Springs are considering constructing a temporary emergency facility to house the growing homeless population ahead of the construction on a permanent navigation center.

It's one of several solutions to help address homelessness that was discussed at Monday night's Palm Springs City Council meeting. Martha’s Village & Kitchen CEO Sam Hollenbeck proposed the idea and explained the facility would provide beds to 95 people who are experiencing homelessness.

The facility would be operated by Martha's and would be open beginning 2024.

However, information on a potential location, funding, and cost were not finalized during the meeting and would still need to be decided.

Palm Springs Police Chief Andrew Mills extended his support for the idea, and said it would offer homeless individuals shelter and additional resources to help address the situation, which his department has also been working to tackle.

Palm Springs resident Mark Ward shared his thoughts with News Channel 3 a day after the meeting. He said he liked what Councilmember Lisa Middleton said during the meeting regrading the need for more work to be done by The City to figure out the root causes of homelessness and ways officials can get ahead of it.

City Manager Scott Stiles provided councilmembers with a status update on the delayed homeless navigation center, which will be built on a nearly 4-acre site at 3589 McCarthy Road. 

The City "is out to bid to the subcontractors to do the demolition, site work, building renovation, utility work, and landscaping," according to Stiles. He said all bids are due on April 20.

Stiles also said that building permits are ready for issuance and SCE work is on target, adding new electrical switchgear equipment is on order.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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