As reported earlier this week, the 182-unit Saint Andrew’s Residence apartment building owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida has been uninhabitable since June 14. Residents say Bishop Peter Eaton had not responded to their attempts to contact him. Reports appeared in the Palm Beach Post, the Episcopal Cafe, and the Episcopal News Service. Since those reports, the diocese has utilized ConceptualCommunicationsPR to serve as its point of contact with the Cafe and ENS.
That public relations firm has shared this August 12th letter from Bishop Eaton to the residents. The letter is on Saint Andrew’s Residence letterhead with no reference to the Diocese of Southeast Florida. The letter addresses the displacement and not other issues brought up by residents such as mold and frequent inoperable elevators.
SAINT ANDREW’S RESIDENCE
208 FERN STREET, WEST PALM BEACH, FL 33401
12 August 2020
Let me begin by expressing my deep concern for your well-being. This is a very difficult time and your ability to return to your homes safely and as soon as possible has been, and remains, our chief priority
I cannot even begin to imagine how disruptive and unsettling it has been for you to vacate your home, and I cannot pretend to understand fully the impact on your life and on the lives of your loved ones. My hope is that after you read this letter, you will have some comfort and encouragement in knowing where we are in this process.
I am more than aware of the many questions and concerns that have been expressed about a possible return to your home at the Saint Andrew’s Residence. Here is a summary of the work that has occurred, the work that is currently in progress, and how, from this point forward, I plan personally to keep you updated as more information becomes available.
If We Have Power, Why Can’t We Move Back In?
Because of the power surge and bus duct failure, the building was without power for two and a half weeks and air quality tests are currently being conducted throughout the building, including the common areas and in each unit, to evaluate the air quality. This is the standard protocol after a loss of power. We anticipate that these tests will be completed by August 20, 2020. Consequently, the Board has extended funding the hotel accommodation and daily meals through August 21, 2020.
Once we receive and evaluate the test results, we shall determine the next steps and will be in a better position to provide you with more specific details about a planned return to the building.
What Happens Next?
For the foreseeable future, in my capacity as President of the Board, it is my intention to send you a letter every Wednesday with updates, consistent with our goal to have you safely returned and settled back in your homes. Please expect my next letter on August 19, 2020. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns please email them to ___ or call ___.
Please know that your safety remains our top priority. Many professionals and contractors have been engaged and are acting to expedite and complete safely the work that needs to be done. I look forward to communicating with you on a weekly basis and keeping you informed as we move toward a date for you to return home.
With every blessing.
The Right Reverend Peter Eaton