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Heart of Oregon Corps gets $2 million boost from state to build programs at new Redmond campus

(Update: Adding video, more comments from Handy)

The idea for expansion turning into reality. Organization now has 40% of funds needed for $5.4 million project

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Heart of Oregon Corps announced Tuesday that it has received a $2 million member-sponsored request from the state of Oregon to assist with the funding of its new centralized campus in Redmond.

“We are thrilled to have this kind of support,” said HOC Executive Director Laura Handy.  “We are so deeply appreciative to our entire delegation, especially Senator Tim Knopp and Representative Jason Kropf.  They led the way on this for Central Oregon youth.”

"I look forward to what it will mean for Central Oregon!” said Knopp, Oregon’s Senate Minority Leader. 

"Heart of Oregon Corps is an important part of our Central Oregon community," said Representative Kropf. "The work they do with young people has an incredible impact, not only on these young people's lives but our community's future. I'm so pleased that HOC has received this well-deserved funding."

“It was so important to us that our state leaders identified an opportunity for this potential investment months ago,” added Handy, “and that allowed us to prepare a request for the short session.”

"Heart of Oregon has been exploring new facilities and a new campus for quite some time. Our board of directors has been working with needs assessment and envisioning the project for over a year, " said Handy. "And luckily the project was just coming together, and Representative Kropf and Senator Knopp really encouraged us to really move things along."

Readiness for HOC has included deepening a partnership with the Opportunity Foundation of Central Oregon in Redmond.

“Opportunity Foundation shares so many common strategic vision goals with Heart of Oregon,” says Opportunity Foundation Executive Director Seth Johnson.  “It makes sense for us to work together.”  

HOC has been leasing youth-training facilities from the Opportunity Foundation in Redmond, and intends to further develop its footprint there.  A new long-term capital lease arrangement for existing land and buildings will be combined with a newly constructed building, customized for HOC’s dynamic workforce training and youth development services.

"It will keep the project costs low and align us with another long-standing organization in Central Oregon that helps improve our community and provide services to all Central Oregon residents," Handy told NewsChannel 21. "It's so great to collaborate so closely with another like-minded nonprofit."

“We’re listening to youth voices about what kind of spaces will help them thrive and belong,” she added. “We’re applying a trauma-informed care lens to our building design and campus plans.” 

The $5.4 million project is now 40 percent funded, between state support and early individual donor gifts. HOC is also seeking federal support for the project, as well as grant and corporate funding.  A community campaign is also in the near future, to leverage grassroots and leadership philanthropy.

“We can’t wait to fully unveil our plans,” notes Handy. “You will be hearing of opportunities to support this project soon. We are not quite to the public phase of our campaign, but as we build up to that, I look forward to sharing more and giving the community the chance to support.”  

“This new campus will make a huge impact on the Central Oregon region for years to come,” she added. “It would be great to see the entire community involved.”

Article Topic Follows: Redmond

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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