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Redmond

Bethlehem Inn receives $2.7 million state grant to buy, convert Redmond motel into homeless shelter

Initially will house up to 25 people, 90 longer-term

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Community Foundation announced Tuesday that the Bethlehem Inn will receive a Project Turnkey grant of nearly $2.7 million for the acquisition and conversion of a 37-room motel in Redmond. The property will serve emergency needs, initially providing 25 rooms of safe, stable shelter for people experiencing homelessness.  

“Bethlehem Inn has been serving the region’s homeless population with emergency shelter services for over 20 years,” says Gwenn Wysling, executive director of the Bethlehem Inn. "The pandemic has further complicated and prolonged economic challenges in a region, where even people who have jobs often struggle to find and keep affordable housing. We are very grateful to the City of Redmond and the community for trusting Bethlehem Inn to serve this vulnerable population.”

Some key benefits of Project Turnkey-Redmond (operated by Bethlehem Inn) include:

  • An inclusive, trauma-informed environment to help more people move from crisis to stability.
  • Safe accommodation for up to 25 individuals initially and up to 90 individuals in the longer term.
  • Provision of meals, clothing, and essentials such as showers, laundry, hygiene items, etc.
  • Case management services and referrals to over 70 partner agencies.
  • Connections and access to available resources.
  • Employment and volunteer opportunities at the shelter.

“Additional shelter resources are needed to assist those here locally in crisis and seeking stability. The City of Redmond is proud to partner with Bethlehem Inn to establish a shelter here in Redmond,” says Redmond Mayor George Endicott. “The State of Oregon’s investment through Project Turnkey, along with help from Oregon Community Foundation, will make a lasting and positive impact in our community.”

In converting the former Greenway Motel, located at 517 Birch Avenue in Redmond, Bethlehem Inn anticipates use as early as June, with plans to open a block of 25 rooms to the most vulnerable community members. Longer term, Bethlehem Inn is working in collaboration with the city of Redmond to make improvements to the property that will yield emergency shelter services for up to 90 individuals, 365 days a year.

“Central Oregon has long needed additional shelter and housing to meet the need in our communities. The pandemic has only further highlighted this need,” says Anne George, senior donor relations officer with the Oregon Community Foundation's Central Oregon office. “OCF is delighted to help facilitate this community-led project, under the leadership of Bethlehem Inn, to support families and individuals with a safe place for our neighbors experiencing a housing or other crisis.”

OCF has worked in partnership to help support Bethlehem Inn for some time and reported -- via the OCF newsletter -- about Bethlehem Inn at this time last year.

Since Project Turnkey’s inception, OCF has been working with urgency in collaboration with a diverse statewide advisory committee to execute an equitable review process of all applicants.

“The Project Turnkey Advisory Committee enthusiastically supported the funding for Bethlehem Inn because of their long, proven track record of serving vulnerable community members with compassion and expertise,” says Megan Loeb, OCF Program Officer, Housing.

OCF has been studying Oregon’s dual crises of homelessness and affordable housing for two years, beginning with research commissioned from ECONorthwest, “Homelessness in Oregon,” which provided statewide analysis of the disproportionately large homeless population in Oregon. The first property was announced in Ashland in February, and Project Turnkey has now reached a double-digit milestone — in just three months – with 10 grant awards deployed to date. Project Turnkey is on pace to complete 18-20 projects by the June deadline set by the Oregon Legislature. For a complete list of awardees, visit Project Turnkey online.

About Project Turnkey

The Oregon Legislature allocated a total of $65 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 $35 million for the remaining 28 counties in the state. The Oregon Community Foundation is administering both funds through an application and selection process, with guidance from an Advisory Committee of state, local, and community stakeholders. For more information, please visit Project Turnkey online.

About Bethlehem Inn

Bethlehem Inn is Central Oregon’s largest emergency shelter, providing temporary housing, food, safety, and case management services for up to 140 adults and children each night.  To learn more about Bethlehem Inn, please visit: bethleheminn.org.

About Oregon Community Foundation

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) 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. For more information about OCF, please visit: oregoncf.org.

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Comments

11 Comments

    1. Well your not wrong. I work for a local delivery company that does all of C.O. and we delivery people that work nights are wary around the B.I in Bend. We’re also wary around downtown Redmond.

      One of my coworkers was robbed on a delivery in Redmond, and I was threatened and a robbery was attempted in Bend.

      Your concerns are justified, IMO. I often find those people who speak of compassion are those who have the least experience with those they preach compassion for.

      One of the most effective ways to reduce drug caused homelessness is to remove an addict from the environmental social pressures that cause drug use and crime recidivism, not to consolidate those who are striving to do better into the same area as their friends who do not want to change.

      1. “I often find those people who speak of compassion are those who have the least experience with those they preach compassion for.” Oh really? Based on what? I live close to downtown and talk to these guys occasionaly. Just push tham out of sight somewhere, eh?

      2. Yep plenty of people with great ideas and opinions but no actual offers of help or accommodation or spots on their front lawn to pitch a tent or a place on their property to park a camp trailer.

  1. What a soft and compassionate way of saying, all of you paying your 9% in taxes will cover all of those who made poor life decisions while you were hard at work.

    Before you cry babies start yelling at me, go look who occupies these.

    The truly needy mentally ill are once again squeezed out by the lazy, alcoholics, and drug users.

    Pathetic.

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