$4.2 Million Grant Aids First Motel Purchase to Shelter Community Members Displaced and Impacted by COVID-19, Wildfires
Portland, OR. The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) is announcing that Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (OHRA) has been selected to receive the first Project Turnkey grant of $4.2 million in state funds to purchase and transform a Super 8 hotel into the new OHRA Center. “The opportunity to acquire a Project Turnkey facility is a game-changer for our work with homeless individuals and families, including those displaced by the September 2020 wildfire,” said Oregon State Representative Pam Marsh pictured above. The hotel will become a 50-person shelter.
Last fall, the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board allocated $65 million in state funding to purchase financially distressed motels across the state to deliver safe shelter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires. OCF is administering the funds and convening a statewide community advisory committee to select qualified applicants to ‘Project Turnkey.’
“Last year’s wildfires were devastating. Many survivors lost everything,” Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said. “The Emergency Board stepped in with funding. That was just the first step. Now this project will give them a place to stay. I am happy to see Project Turnkey hard at work.”
OCF has been studying Oregon’s dual crises of homelessness and affordable housing, beginning with research commissioned from ECONorthwest, “Homelessness in Oregon” which provided a statewide analysis of a disproportionately large homeless population in Oregon.