City preparing to take important next step in establishing north end ‘navigation center’

City officials are under pressure to do more to address the homeless situation in Palm Springs, which has been growing considerably worse since the start of the pandemic

Palm Springs officials are preparing to take a crucial step forward in building out a homeless services center in the city’s north end.

The news: Approval of a contract for architectural, civil, mechanical, electrical, lighting and landscape design services related to the project is on the agenda at the next City Council meeting, scheduled for Thursday, June 16, at 5:30 p.m.

  • The city received four qualifying bids for the services in April. An evaluation committee made up of staff from the city and Riverside County selected the bid from John Freidman Alice Kimm Architects (JF-AK) of Los Angeles.
  • The firm’s bid was for $860,640 – roughly 7.5% of the estimated construction cost of $10.9 million.

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Zoom out: In January, a majority of councilmembers voted to move forward with the purchase of 3.6 acres of industrial land that contains three buildings with 47,000-square-feet of usable space. They hope to have a “navigation center” open next year that will provide transitional housing, as well as job training, medical care, and other services for the city’s unhoused population.

  • The project has faced scrutiny from nearby residents who have repeatedly asked that officials focus on bringing crucial services to the area, such as a grocery store and banking and medical facilities.

At issue: City officials are under pressure to do more to address the homeless situation in Palm Springs, which has been growing considerably worse since the start of the pandemic. They see the McCarthy Road project as the quickest path to providing additional city-backed services such as a small cooling center currently open near Palm Springs International Airport.

  • The most recent countywide tally showed the city is second only to Riverside in volume of unhoused residents living on the street.

Dive deeper with our homelessness coverage.

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