City of Bend gets $3M Project Turnkey grant for homeless shelter conversion

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The Oregon Community Foundation announced Thursday it has selected the City of Bend to receive a $2.97 million Project Turnkey grant to purchase and convert the former Bend Value Inn into transitional housing for community members in need.

Project Turnkey-Bend will house community members in need, particularly those disproportionality impact by COVID-19, including tribal members, veterans, survivors of domestic violence and Latina/o/x community members.

The project is a collaboration with NeighborImpact which will provide supportive services to guests.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding from Project Turnkey,” said Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins. “Supporting our community members who are unhoused or at risk of losing housing is a top priority for City Council. This state funding will enable us to open a much-needed transitional shelter in Bend and provide safe housing for our neighbors who need it most.”

The city hopes to use the 28-room property on NE Division Street as early as this winter.

Following improvements, including fire, life, safety systems upgrades, the property will offer three fully accessible units as well as three units with visual indicators and audio enunciators to serve guests with hearing and visual impairments.

“Oregon Community Foundation is thrilled to partner with the City of Bend and NeighborImpact, an incredible organization and community member, on this innovative Project Turnkey effort to benefit Bend community members experiencing homelessness,” said Julie Gregory, OCF’s Regional Director for Central and Eastern Oregon. “As Central Oregon’s housing market faces limited supply and increased demand, we know many people are struggling with housing security.”

Key benefits of Project-Turnkey-Bend – to be operated in partnership with NeighborImpact– include:

  • Safe accommodation and support with 28 rooms for Bend community members in need
  • Provision of essentials such as clothing, hygiene items, meals, showers, etc.
  • Help to move people experiencing homelessness from crisis to stability.
  • Culturally specific, supportive services for tribal members, veterans, survivors of domestic violence and Latina/o/x community members, including:
    • On-site case management
    • Health care, including mental health services
    • Resource navigation
    • Linkages to permanent housing solutions.

“Central Oregon has experienced recent tragic losses among our vulnerable unhoused neighbors,” said Scott Cooper, Executive Director, NeighborImpact. “This partnership is a first step in support of those at highest risk of succumbing to our harsh elements and who may not be welcomed into other shelters.”

City staff planned to visit nearby businesses and residences on Thursday to share information about the upcoming project.

A community open house will be held later this month and include an overview,  what the city’s plans are for remodeling and improving the property, information on how the shelter will be managed, an overview of the services that may be offered at the shelter, and an opportunity to ask city staff questions about the new shelter.

The date, time and location for the open house will be announced later this month and posted on the City’s Project Turnkey webpage.

“We’re excited about creating Bend’s first permanent transitional shelter and what it means for everyone who will call it home,” said Carolyn Eagan, Recovery Strategy & Impact Officer for the City of Bend. “This state investment in purchasing and improving the property helps fill a gap in our continuum of housing and provides individuals and families a safe, stable place to live.”

The latest grants were made possible through additional funding of $9.7 million approved by the Oregon Legislature and signed by Gov. Kate Brown in June, bringing the Project Turnkey funding total to $74.7 million.

“Project Turnkey is wrapping up with 19 total properties throughout 13 counties in Oregon, realizing approximately 900 beds/units with these latest two grant announcements,” said Megan Loeb, Program Officer, Oregon Community Foundation.

Project Turnkey represents about a 20% increase in the state’s supply of emergency year-round shelter beds for people experiencing homelessness, achieved in less than eight months.

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