The Deschutes County Commission approved a number of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) investments Wednesday, totaling more than $2.85 million.
This includes $450,000 for the Bethlehem Inn’s new Redmond homeless shelter; funds which the nonprofit requested last week.
The investment will cover half of the $900,000 still needed to complete the homeless shelter.
Bethlehem Inn asked the City of Redmond to cover the other $450,000.
“We’re looking critically at the ways we can make strategic investments to help move our communities forward,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone. “These funds represent a unique opportunity for regional partnership as we all work together toward recovery.”
ARPA Investments approved by the Board of Commissioners include:
- $1 million to support the first phase of the Oregon State University-Cascades, Central Oregon Community College, and Bend Chamber Little Kits Early Learning & Child Care Center project. The first phase of the Little Kits Early Learning & Child Care Center is expected to provide childcare for 70 to 100 children in Bend.
- $750,000 to support a partnership with the City of Bend on a managed camp project. Commissioners indicated the potential of making an additional $750,000 investment in the project at a later date.
- $450,000 to support the Bethlehem Inn’s conversion of a motel in Redmond into a year-round shelter that will serve up to 88 people each night.
- $455,184 to cover County-incurred costs related to COVID-19 testing, liability insurance, sanitizer for the Deschutes County Jail, and administration of the County’s ARPA investments.
- $100,000 for the Ronald McDonald House to help support their capital campaign project.
- $100,000 to support the construction of the Veterans’ Village project.
Commissioners also encouraged staff to look into the development of a program to provide help for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s exciting to see these dollars start to flow into our community as we begin what will be a series of important investments,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair.
The initial investments represent only a portion of the $38 million Deschutes County will receive in ARPA funds.
The County received the first half of the funds in May and expects to receive the rest next year.
“It’s important to us that we hear from the community about what priorities and programs are most important to them,” said County Commissioner Phil Chang. “We’re holding back the bulk of our ARPA funds so that we can hear directly from residents about the best ways to invest these dollars.”