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‘Make a real difference in people’s lives’: Bend gets $2.97 million grant to turn motel into shelter

(Update: Adding video, city announcement, details)

Bend gets first permanent transitional housing shelter

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Organizers say one of the last grants made by the state of Oregon's Project Turnkey marks a turning point for the city of Bend and its houseless community.

The Oregon Community Foundation announced Thursday that it has selected the city to receive a $2.97 million Project Turnkey grant, as well as the Joint Office of Homeless Services for East Multnomah County, to receive a $3.45 million grant to purchase and convert area motels into transitional housing for community members in need.

The latest grants were made possible through additional funding of $9.7 million approved by the Oregon Legislature and signed by Gov. Kate Brown on June 25, bringing the Project Turnkey funding total to $74.7 million.

The city of Bend will turn the Bend Value Inn on Northeast Division Street into transitional housing. Those chosen to live in the space will be based on their needs, with priority focused on those considered to have the deepest needs.

NeighborImpact partnered with the city for the project. It'll provide residents with support services -- like health care, case management, and help navigating permanent solutions.

Executive Director Scott Cooper says the volunteer sector in Bend is not big enough to handle a problem this size -- and the city has stepped up to make this project happen.

"The city is stepping up to its obligations and its responsibilities to its citizens and their basic needs," Cooper told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday. "And it is meeting them, and it is saying, 'We are going to find creative ways to solve the conflict between that population and other populations and make a real difference in people's lives.'"

City workers were taking down the Bend Value Inn sign as the city took control of the property Thursday.

Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins says they chose that motel for the shelter because it's centralized in town, it has the ability to house up to 28 people, and it will function differently than a typical shelter.

"This is not sort of the typical shelter that you normally think about where people are coming in everyday and then leaving every day," Perkins said. "This is a place where you can really sort of take a deep breath, as a family or as an individual, unpack your things, use a kitchen and use the supportive services that will be on site in order to eventually find housing for yourself on a permanent basis."

Perkins says Project Turnkey is intended to be a "middle of the road" place to help people get back on their feet. It represents about a 20 percent increase in the state's supply of emergency year-round shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness, achieved in less than eight months.

The city issued an announcement Thursday morning:

City of Bend awarded $2.97 million Project Turnkey grant for transitional housing

Post Date:07/08/2021 11:12 AM

Earlier today, Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) announced that the City of Bend was awarded $2.97 million in state funding from Project Turnkey to purchase a motel property and remodel it for use as a managed transitional shelter. Located at 2346 NE Division St., the City officially closed on the property on July 7. The City will open the shelter after remodeling the 8,895 square-foot building and making improvements to the property. Once remodeled, Project Turnkey-Bend will provide 28 rooms for shelter use.

“We are thrilled to receive Project Turnkey funding through OCF,” said Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins. “Supporting our community members who are unhoused or at the risk of losing housing is a top priority for City Council. Project Turnkey funding will enable us to open a much-needed transitional shelter in Bend and provide safe housing for our neighbors who need it most.”

What Happens Next

The City will work with people currently residing at the property to ensure they maintain stable housing while the property is being remodeled. The City is working with NeighborImpact to provide case management for any of the current residents who would like support services.

Beginning on July 8, City staff will visit nearby businesses and residences to share information about Project Turnkey-Bend.

A community open house will be held in July and include an overview of Project Turnkey-Bend, what the City’s plans are for remodeling and improving the property, information on how the shelter will be managed, an overview of the services that may be offered at the shelter, and an opportunity to ask City staff questions about the new shelter. The date, time and location for the open house will be announced later this month and posted on the City’s Project Turnkey webpage.

“We’re excited about creating Bend’s first permanent transitional shelter and what it means for everyone who will call it home,” said Carolyn Eagan, Recovery Strategy & Impact Officer for the City of Bend. “This state investment in purchasing and improving the property helps fill a gap in our continuum of housing and provides individuals and families a safe, stable place to live.”

There will be a second open house later this summer to provide an update on the timeline for remodeling and opening the shelter. The second open house will be announced at a later date and posted on the City’s Project Turnkey webpage.

About Project Turnkey

Project Turnkey provides $65 million in State funding to cities, counties, housing authorities, or 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to acquire motels or hotels to use as non-congregate shelters for people experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness. In June, the State Legislature approved another $9.7 million in funds for additional applicants that were substantially through the due diligence process. Oregon Community Foundation administered the Fund through an application and selection process, with guidance from an Advisory Committee of state, local, and community stakeholders.  

Continuum of Housing

There are many types of housing needed in a community. Transitional shelters are one of many possible short-term solutions to help address homelessness in Bend. Mid- and long-term solutions, like generating revenue to support housing and other critical services, and acquiring housing facilities, are also necessary to support community members as they transition out of homelessness and into stable housing.


Here is the rest of the Oregon Community Foundation announcement:

Project Turnkey-Bend | City of Bend and NeighborImpact

A $2.97 million Project Turnkey grant will help the City of Bend support Bend community members experiencing homelessness. Project Turnkey-Bend will house community members in need, particularly those disproportionality impact by COVID-19, including tribal members, veterans, survivors of domestic violence and Latina/o/x community members. It will be operated in collaboration with NeighborImpact which will provide supportive services to guests.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding from Project Turnkey,” said Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins. “Supporting our community members who are unhoused or at risk of losing housing is a top priority for City Council. This state funding will enable us to open a much-needed transitional shelter in Bend and provide safe housing for our neighbors who need it most.”

Located at 2346 NE Division Street in Bend, Oregon, the City of Bend anticipates use of the 28-room former Bend Value Inn property as early as this winter. Following improvements, including fire, life, safety systems upgrades, the property will offer three fully accessible units as well as three units with visual indicators and audio enunciators to serve guests with hearing and visual impairments.

“Oregon Community Foundation is thrilled to partner with the City of Bend and NeighborImpact, an incredible organization and community member, on this innovative Project Turnkey effort to benefit Bend community members experiencing homelessness,” said Julie Gregory, OCF’s Regional Director for Central and Eastern Oregon. “As Central Oregon’s housing market faces limited supply and increased demand, we know many people are struggling with housing security.”

Key benefits of Project-Turnkey-Bend – to be operated in partnership with NeighborImpact– include:

  • Safe accommodation and support with 28 rooms for Bend community members in need
  • Provision of essentials such as clothing, hygiene items, meals, showers, etc.
  • Help to move people experiencing homelessness from crisis to stability.
  • Culturally specific, supportive services for tribal members, veterans, survivors of domestic violence and Latina/o/x community members, including:
    • On-site case management
    • Health care, including mental health services
    • Resource navigation
    • Linkages to permanent housing solutions.

“Central Oregon has experienced recent tragic losses among our vulnerable unhoused neighbors,” said Scott Cooper, Executive Director, NeighborImpact. “This partnership is a first step in support of those at highest risk of succumbing to our harsh elements and who may not be welcomed into other shelters.”

Project Turnkey-East Multnomah County | Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS)

The $3.45 million Project Turnkey grant will help JOHS support vulnerable community members experiencing homelessness. Project Turnkey-East Multnomah County provides services-focused shelter for community members in need, particularly people who identify as BIPOC, people who have high-risk underlying health conditions, people who are 65 or older, and veterans. Do Good Multnomah, through a contract with JOHS, is operating the site.

“Using motels to provide specialized shelter for our neighbors most vulnerable to COVID-19 unquestionably saved lives during the pandemic,” said Chair Deborah Kafoury. “The support services and stability we can provide in motel-based shelters will be just as important as the pandemic eases. Thanks to support from Project Turnkey, I’m grateful we’ll be able to continue providing this resource.”

JOHS is already utilizing the 43-room property, located at 18323 SE Stark Street in Gresham, Oregon, to shelter and support some of the most vulnerable community members in East Multnomah County. The site was part of JOHS’ strategy for retaining shelter capacity despite the need for physical distancing throughout its shelter system. The Project Turnkey grant, combined with $1.5 million in locally supplied funds, will enable the JOHS to acquire the property.

Key benefits of Project-Turnkey-East Multnomah County – operated by Do Good Multnomah (with support from several other nonprofit partners) – include:

  • Safe accommodation and support for up to 43 community members in need
  • Provision of essentials such as clothing, hygiene items, meals, showers, etc.
  • Help to move people experiencing homelessness from crisis to stability.
  • Culturally responsive, supportive services for guests, including:
    • Employment services
    • Health care, including behavioral health services
    • Housing placement
    • Resource navigation

“The Advisory Committee appreciated the intentionality of both of these applicants to serve the most disproportionately impacted Oregonians in the face of our housing crisis,” Megan Loeb, program officer at Oregon Community Foundation, said. “Centering racial equity has been a key tenet of this work, and it’s reflected in grantees selected throughout this process.”

Oregon Community Foundation offers support for Oregon’s housing needs along a continuum—from shelter to supportive housing to affordable housing to equitable home ownership—through a variety of tools, including research, grants, advocacy, and low-interest loans. OCF’s administration of Project Turnkey is one example of the innovative, collaborative approaches launched to help more Oregonians find stable, affordable housing.

About Project Turnkey

The Oregon Legislature allocated a total of $74.7 million for Project Turnkey for the purpose of acquiring motels/hotels for use as non-congregate shelter for people experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness. Two discrete funds were provided by the state: one totaling $30 million to be awarded in counties and tribal communities impacted by the 2020 wildfires; and one totaling $44.7 million for the remaining 28 counties in the state. Oregon Community Foundation has successfully administered both funds through an application and selection process, with guidance from an Advisory Committee of state, local, and community stakeholders.

About City of Bend
To learn more, please visit: BendOregon.org.

About NeighborImpact

NeighborImpact is a nonprofit organization serving all of Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson counties and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, meeting the needs of more than 55,000 Central Oregon households each year. To learn more, please visit: neighborimpact.org.

About the Joint Office of Homeless Services | JOHS (Multnomah County and City of Portland)

Multnomah County and the City of Portland launched the Joint Office in 2016 to tear down silos in homeless services and create a shared office that helps tens of thousands of people find stability and services every year by investing in rent assistance, housing supports, 24-hour shelter spaces and intensive street outreach. To learn more, please visit: Joint Office of Homeless Services | Multnomah County (multco.us).

About Do Good Multnomah

Do Good Multnomah is a nonprofit organization that partners with the community to provide permanent and transitional supportive housing as well as low-barrier shelter to Veterans and those experiencing houselessness in Portland, Oregon. To learn more, please visit: DoGoodMultnomah.org.

About Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon Community Foundation puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. Since 1973, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving–time, talent, and resources from many generous Oregonians–creates measurable change. Throughout 2020, OCF responded quickly and urgently - distributing a record-setting $220 million in charitable dollars to more than 3,000 nonprofits throughout Oregon working to address urgent needs, stabilize communities and prepare for long-term recovery in Oregon. OCF donors responded to the magnitude of need, as reflected in a 44% increase in donor advised fund grantmaking from the previous year. For more information, please visit: oregoncf.org.

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Comments

24 Comments

  1. So will there be a program in place to get these people back into the job fields or is it simply more enabling??? Or are they already working but not at a job that pays enough for them to live on their own?

  2. Well considered steps to help those wanting to get off the streets and out of the camps…

    Cannot happen w/o funding that is consistent and trained staff / resources available.

    Good job!

  3. Per the law cities cannot prohibit homeless people from camping in public places unless they have adequate shelter alternatives available. Any facility that keeps Drake Park from becoming a tent city is a welcome addition to the community.

    1. Drake Park is far better than up past Cooley considering the access to bathing in the river and access to great wealth. Trickle down doesn’t go far, and the neighbors also ended up there perhaps because of the same tax policies that put many out on the streets.

  4. For 3 mil that’s over 1 hundred thousand a room and then all of the additional costs to maintain the place. Sounds like another big money hole for the taxpayers. Seems like the money could have been spent more efficiently but who cares it’s only the taxpayers money.

  5. No free rides. If they don’t have skin in the game than there is little motivation to better your situation. Provide the housing and services so they have a stability and charge a minimal amount of rent. There should be no problem finding work at the moment.

  6. Homelessness in Bend will now explode, Motel rooms for all! This has never worked in SF. Tax payers are getting off cheap at $100,000 per room this time. Change the law and kick them out of the tents and RVs. These people truly do not want to live by rules.

  7. I wonder how many people will actually take advantage of the situation and improve their lives
    and become independent ? I could be wrong but I would doubt if it will even be 50%

  8. What requirements are in place for residents? THere’s nothing about work or education requirements, nothing about substance abuse counseling?

    Is this a long-term version of a low-barrier shelter? How long can residents stay? What would need to happen to remove someone from the premises?

    Megan Perkins, you are married to a rich doctor living in NWX? Why did you site this shelter as far from your residence as possible?

  9. Making junkies more comfortable will only draw more junkies.
    Oregon is DEAD LAST in mental health services in the U.S.
    They need rehabilitation, not handouts.

    1. One should ask Gov Brown why she voted to close Fairview, Dammasch, and Eastern Oregon Training Center long term mental health facilities while she was a state representative and Senator…had plenty of spaces and state employee staff with good wages to provide quality services. But instead, moved to community groups homes with zero support for clients, staff and community. Would have cost taxpayers less than current homelessness and jails.

  10. What metric is going to be used to judge the effectiveness of these programs? How are we going to know if this is a wise use of taxpayers money?

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