▶️ Old Rainbow Motel in Bend opens as a homeless shelter — again


The Bend City Council approved new management Wednesday of the Franklin Shelter, or the old Rainbow Motel off of Franklin Avenue, under Shepherd’s House Ministries. NeighborImpact was running a shelter out of the motel temporarily. 

“NeighborImpact was going to be running that shelter for us while those renovations were happening,” Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler said. “They moved folks to the Rainbow Motel. And then when the renovations were done and the Stepping Stone Shelter was officially open, they moved those folks back and they’re now running the stepping stone shelter.”

Unlike other shelters in the area, the Franklin Shelter will not be a congregate shelter.

“It’ll be a transitional shelter,” Shepherd’s House Director of Navigation Services Evan Hendrix said. “Folks will either have a private room to themselves or two to three roommates at the most.”

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There are 60 rooms in total, meaning 60 to 80 people are expected to be housed there. 

Each room has a bathroom and is in walking distance from the Lighthouse Navigation Center — also operated by Shepherd’s House — which provides resources for the houseless.

With three shelters in the same area, we asked Kebler if she has seen any push back from the community.

“When the Rainbow was first being used for a shelter and we talked to the community about that, we established some really good agreements and understandings with the nearby business owners and neighbors,” Kebler said. “Throughout the time that was running as a shelter previously, we had some really good results being able to work with people about their concerns and being able to resolve those.”

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It will be a low barrier shelter meaning the requirements to stay in the shelter are minimal, but there will be a background check process on residents. 

“This is going to be through the Coordinated Entry System,” Kebler said. “Shepherd’s House will be matching up people that are the right fit for this type of shelter and have the needs that this type of shelter can provide.”

The City of Bend is in contract with Shepherd’s House to run the shelter for the next 18 months. 

People are expected to be housed in the old motel as early as next week.


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