"The contractors have been adamant about getting this done so people can get back into the places that they live, and, believe it or not, people want to get back in the hotel just as quickly as possible," said Orgeron.
About two-thirds of the second floor may be open by the end of the week, but the area where the fire started may take a couple more weeks.
The third and fourth floors, and maybe even the basement, though, are ready for move-in Tuesday morning.
"I met with them at both places. They were so excited. They were cheering and clapping. They're ready to come home," said Theresa Oglesby, coordinator of Resident Services at the Missouri Hotel.
Oglesby and case managers were working on moving back in Monday, ready to pick up where they left off.
"Once I get a new desk in here and get everything set up, I'll be good to go again," Oglesby said.
Her office was directly below where the fire started and sustained water damage.
Programs that help residents move toward independence and self-sufficiency were put on hold during the ordeal, for the most part.
"Some of the residents wanted to still come over and do their service hours. There's quite a few of them that do service hours around the campus, maybe working at the food pantry or the food warehouse or maybe over at Maggie's sorting clothes and different things, and they've been doing that, and it's good for them that they do that, because again, that sense of normalcy is there," said Orgeron.
It's clear everyone's ready to get back to normal.
"We'll put as many people back in to the hotel as we can," Orgeron says.
It's sure to be an exciting day for all those folks waiting to get back to the place they call home. It's unclear if a shelter will still be needed after Tuesday, but Missouri Hotel will figure that out and keep one open if needed.
Insurance should cover most of the cost of the renovations, but residents' belongings may not be covered. Though the fire wasn't believed to be related to the building's aging electrical system, that system is getting some safety upgrades.
The dining area at the Missouri Hotel isn't ready quite yet, and food will be brought in from Franciscian Villa.
Needed items for residents at the Missouri Hotel include:
- Cash donations orWal-Mart gift cards
- 5 oz Dixie cups
- Plastic spoons
- Feminine hygiene products
- Breakfast bars
- Diapers (all sizes)
- Baby wipes, lotion, shampoo
- Juice boxes
- Toddler snacks
- Laundry detergent (liquid)
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels