The Bend City Council will discuss a contract agreement Wednesday for the local nonprofit NeighborImpact to run the city’s newest homeless shelter.
“This is really a response on the city’s behalf to step into solutions for unhoused folks,” said NeighborImpact’s Housing Stabilization Director Molly Heiss.
In 2020, the Oregon Legislature allocated a total of $65 million for Project Turnkey to acquire motels and hotels for people experiencing homelessness.
In July 2021, the city received $2.97 million in Project Turnkey funds to purchase the former Bend Value Inn motel located on Division Street.
“When we moved into the Bend Value Inn in February of 2022, we were on a shorter-term contract as the operator,” said Heiss. “The contract was renewed when we moved into the Franklin Avenue shelter, the former Rainbow Motel, so renovations could happen here at the Division Street Site.”
The inn is now called Stepping Stone and is a low-barrier shelter.
“It’s going to be categorized as an emergency shelter, so that’s where a 90-day stay comes into place, and then there is some entrenched case management and supportive services for folks so they can start to look at what their next step and option might be,” said Heiss.
If an agreement is made, the hope is those in need can move in by the middle or end of February.
“We’re here to support and to guide and we will have a total of 28 rooms with a capacity of up to 60 guests based on the household configurations,” said Heiss.
Heiss says an open house at the renovated site will be scheduled in early February, and invitations will be mailed to neighbors.