Homeless shelter
Cots inside a homeless shelter. Photo via Pixabay

The Board of Supervisors is slated Tuesday to approve a roughly quarter-million-dollar project to repair a homeless facility in Palm Springs damaged by a fire well over a year ago.

The Nightingale Manor sustained losses that made part of the transitional shelter uninhabitable in June 2021, according to the Riverside County Housing Authority.

The board is expected to approve a $258,118 contract with Palm Springs-based Belfor USA Group Inc. to perform all work required to bring the 12-unit structure back up to code.

The Housing Authority is asking the board to approve the project as an emergency reconstruction enterprise, without seeking competitive bids.

“Approving this item will have a positive impact on the citizens and businesses of Riverside County,” according to a statement posted to the board’s agenda.

“The proposed project is expected to generate temporary construction jobs. Additionally, the renovations will protect (homeless) clients, providing more housing units for the displaced residents and making the building safer. This improvement will positively impact the overall health of workers and clients and improve the surrounding neighborhood.”

Multiple apartments were damaged by the June 15, 2021, blaze inside the facility, located 2951 De Anza Road. One of the occupants was also hurt, but not seriously, in the early morning conflagration.

The Palm Springs Fire Department did not identify a specific cause after the blaze was knocked down.

While the facility is owned by the county, it is leased and operated by the nonprofit Jewish Family Services. Initially, it was unclear whether JFS’ insurance carrier, or the county’s, would be responsible for covering repairs stemming from the fire.

According to county officials, the Housing Authority’s insurer was ultimately determined to be the responsible entity.

Belfor USA Group was selected based on its prior extensive use by “numerous county agencies for emergency repair work,” according to the Housing Authority.

It was unclear how long the reconstruction project would take.

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