Temperatures across Central Oregon are dipping for those experiencing homelessness. To help meet the crucial need for a safe, warm place to sleep, NeighborImpact is distributing funds in support of shelters across the region.
The nonprofit was awarded an Emergency Solutions Grant by Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and is sharing 100 percent of those funds with partner organizations. NeighborImpact is passing $107,900 of funds on to nine regional providers offering emergency shelter or street outreach services to people experiencing homelessness in Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, including: Saving Grace, Cascade Youth & Family Center-The Loft, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach, THRIVE Central Oregon, Cascade Youth & Family Center-Grandma’s House, Dawn’s House, Bethlehem Inn, Redemption House and L.I.N.C.-Jefferson County Faith-Based Network.
“We live on donations from people in our community. This will be a huge donation for us, and we are very excited about it,”said Beckie Buss, office manager of L.I.N.C.-Jefferson Co. Faith-Based Network. “We will be able to assist [clients] with rent assistance, get them into housing when it becomes available-prevent evictions. We couldn’t do this without that money.”
A point-in-time count found nearly 900 individuals experiencing homelessness across Central Oregon last January. This year, several previous providers are finding their capacity to provide shelter more limited. With temperatures dropping rapidly, the need for shelters is urgent.
“Particularly in Prineville, we have zero percent vacancy for rentals, and so we have a number of people on the street,” said Mike Wilson, Redemption House board president. “This [grant] is going to do a greater job of reaching out to those who are most vulnerable at this most crucial time of the year.”
Representatives from each of the 9 shelter-providing organizations attended a celebratory meeting at NeighborImpact’s Bend office at 10 AM on Thursday, where they were each presented with an award check.
“Bethlehem Inn is so grateful to get the Emergency Solutions Grant money because it helps us to provide warmth and shelter for up to 140 people a night,” said Gwen Wysling, executive director of Bethlehem Inn. “NeighborImpact’s advocacy in our community helps make that funding possible and it is helping to ensure that we can transform lives with shelter, help and hope.”
For more information about Central Oregon warming shelters and their availability, visit www.neighborimpact.org/warming-shelters/.
About NeighborImpact: Since 1985, NeighborImpact has been a leader in developing solutions and bringing resources to Crook, Jefferson, Deschutes County and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. The agency offers a diversity of services meeting basic human needs for food and shelter, while enriching people’s lives by providing access to increased education, skills, and hope for the future. NeighborImpact is a private nonprofit organization that receives federal, state and local grants, foundation grants and donations from individuals and businesses in our community. To learn more about NeighborImpact please visit www.neighborimpact.org
NeighborImpact is a 21 Cares for Kids partner.