State-funded grant program will stand up approximately a dozen emergency shelters in Oregon in 2023
Portland, Ore. – March 13, 2023 – Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) announced today three additional awards for Project Turnkey 2.0, the second iteration of the state-funded grant program administered by OCF which aims to increase the state’s supply of emergency and transitional housing. These three grants—to Clatsop County, Mid-Columbia Community Action Council serving Hood River, Wasco and Sherman Counties, and Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency serving Marion and Polk Counties—total $10.6 million and leverage an additional $4.2 million to add over 140 new units of shelter and transitional housing.
Clatsop County received a grant of just over $2.8 million to acquire and renovate a hotel in downtown Astoria. Under contract with the county, which will own and maintain the property, Clatsop Community Action (CCA) and The Harbor, a service organization dedicated to survivors of domestic violence, will operate the property as a shelter and transitional housing option for vulnerable individuals and families experiencing houselessness.
“Since 2015, Clatsop County has experienced the highest rate of homelessness in the State with a current rate of 22.7 per 1,000 residents,” observes Clatsop County Board Chair, Mark Kujala. “This opportunity through Project Turnkey 2.0 is another tool that will allow Clatsop County to continue to work diligently with all of our community partners to address the housing needs of our unsheltered population.”
This property will open as an emergency shelter while renovation work is completed to meet life safety requirements for year-round operations. When fully operational, the facility will offer 22 units of housing and provide onsite wrap-around services focused on families, survivors of domestic violence, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and those struggling with mental illness. Local service providers and the county collaborate closely to serve the houseless population in the area, and this property will fill a gap in local shelter and transitional housing opportunities giving the collaborative the opportunity to better serve the whole community.
“As a community we have a responsibility to meet the needs of the unhoused,” notes The Harbor Executive Director, Terri Steenbergen. “We are honored to have been given this opportunity by OCF and Clatsop County, to work with our close partners at CCA, to begin to address the houseless crisis that affects so many of our county’s most vulnerable.”
CCA Executive Director, Viviana Matthews adds, “When we fight poverty, we defend human dignity.”
In The Dalles another collaboration is at work under the leadership of Mid-Columbia Community Action Council (MCCAC), the Community Action Agency serving Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties. MCCAC was awarded nearly $4.23 million from Project Turnkey to acquire and renovate a hotel in downtown The Dalles. When complete, the property will provide 15 units of transitional housing dedicated to families with children in a defined wing and 30+ units of transitional housing for individuals experiencing chronic houselessness.
“This acquisition is a huge win for our communities as the site will provide critical housing and shelter capacity while also revitalizing the entry to the downtown core,” MCCAC Executive Director, Kenny LaPoint said. “This is such an exciting project that we believe will help reduce houselessness by 50% while also turning a rundown hotel into a community asset.”
Along with a variety of community partners including Mid-Columbia Center for Living (MCCFL), The Next Door, the Oregon Human Development Corporation, Nch’I Wana Housing, the Columbia Gorge Health Council, Bridges to Health, Mid-Columbia Medical Center and Providence Memorial Hospital in Hood River, MCCAC will create an on-site navigation center to provide services participants need such as culturally specific services, peer support, crisis services, behavioral health, jail diversion, case management, and weekly health services. This addition of a transitional housing option will fill a gap in the regional housing continuum which until now has only had a pallet shelter for emergency shelter. The new facility will provide better accessibility for medically fragile patients and will provide an opportunity for stability for survivors of domestic violence and families who have no current shelter options.
In Salem, Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA) is building on its success with a property from the first round of Project Turnkey to acquire a second property and open an additional 74 units of shelter and transitional housing for the community. MWVCAA received a Project Turnkey 2.0 grant of $3.56 million toward the total project cost of $7.56 million to acquire and renovate a hotel, dubbed the ARCHES Lodge, into shelter and transitional housing.
“The unsheltered crisis in Oregon is a human tragedy, but thankfully, it is a tragedy we can bring to an end,” MWVCAA Executive Director, Jimmy Jones said. “Our Project Turnkey Award from Oregon Community Foundation will end homelessness for another 100 impoverished and vulnerable residents of our community.”
MWVCAA Chief Program Officer of Housing and Homeless Services, Ashely Hamilton adds, “By providing a safe space to begin the housing stabilization journey, and offering case management, housing navigation, and behavioral health services, MWVCAA can truly offer a holistic and multi-disciplinary experience at the ARCHES Lodge, creating life-long impacts for the people we serve.”
MWVCAA will operate this new property through its ARCHES Project to provide shelter and services for veterans, medically fragile individuals, and households referred by culturally specific partners. With recent and on-going renovations, including the conversion of up to 10 units into ADA accessible units, the facility is well-suited for medial respite and allows for a trauma-informed approach to services that meets Veterans Administration standards. Along with a host of community partners MWVCAA will provide a range of supportive services including housing navigation, access to food and healthcare, culturally specific supports, and more.
“These collaborative efforts and agencies are all leading the way in addressing the homelessness crisis in their regions,” said Megan Loeb, Senior Program Officer, Economic Vitality and Housing, Oregon Community Foundation. “What’s so important about each of their projects is the way they focus on the unmet need of our most vulnerable neighbors caught up in this crisis. Families with children, medically fragile individuals, survivors of domestic violence, communities of color, and veterans all have specific needs, and these organizations have the experience, expertise, and partnerships to meet them.”
“These new transitional homes are a manifestation of what is possible when all of us come together in service to our communities,” said Mike Savara, Interim Chief Programs Officer for OHCS. “We are most effective when everyone is being served and has their basic needs met. Sustainable progress is possible when all of our partners are working together with us toward the same goals and outcomes.”
Project Turnkey 2.0 aims to stand up approximately 10-12 properties as emergency shelter and transitional housing across the state. Properties will be owned and operated by local nonprofit organizations and entities (such as cities, counties, or tribes) that will provide safe housing as well as critical support, including access to medical and social services, computers, laundry facilities, meals and more. Additional Project Turnkey 2.0 sites are expected to be announced in early April 2023.
About Clatsop County
For information, please visit the ClatsopCounty.gov website.
About Clatsop Community Action (CCA)
Clatsop Community Action is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that has been serving low-income residents of Clatsop County since 1989. Our mission is to help people meet housing, food, and other basic living needs. We provide emergency food, housing, energy assistance, and other basic critical services to those in need. We provide clients with resources and referrals in order to help make them more self-sufficient, productive citizens.
To learn more, please visit: https://ccaservices.org/.
About The Harbor
The Harbor’s mission is to provide advocacy, prevention and support while promoting self-determination and hope for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
The Harbor provides its services completely free and confidentially and has been engaged in this important work for 40 years. What began in 1976 as a group of women and phone line has evolved into a thriving non-profit at the forefront of providing culturally responsive services. We provide services to residents of Clatsop County, and surrounding areas.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.harbornw.org/.
About Mid-Columbia Community Action Council (MCCAC)
Mid-Columbia Community Action Council (MCCAC) is a private non-profit (501c3) corporation serving Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman Counties whose mission is to build a better future for our community through partnership and equity centered programs that prevent and eliminate poverty and houselessness.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.mccac.com/.
About Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA)
The Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency is the leading anti-poverty nonprofit in Marion and Polk Counties. We offer tools for self-sufficiency to low-income residents who are seeking relief from poverty. Our programs provide services related to housing and homelessness, early childhood development, home weatherization, and energy services. We believe everyone deserves dignity, a positive future, and a life without poverty.
To learn more, please visit: https://mwvcaa.org/programs/the-arches-project/.
About Project Turnkey 2.0 (2022-2023)
Based on the success of the Project Turnkey 1.0, and in the face on ongoing need for emergency shelter, on March 4, 2022, the Oregon Legislature allocated $50 million in new funding for more emergency shelters around the state for Project Turnkey 2.0.
OCF and OHCS Roles
Oregon Community Foundation serves as the grantor and fiduciary, administering state-funded Project Turnkey 2.0 grants with guidance from a diverse statewide Advisory Committee. OCF offers support for Oregon’s housing needs along a continuum — from shelter to supportive housing to affordable housing to equitable home ownership — through a variety of tools, including research, grants, advocacy, and low-interest loans. OCF’s administration of Project Turnkey 2.0 is one example of the innovative, collaborative approaches launched to help more Oregonians find stable, affordable housing.
Oregon Housing and Community Services provides advice and support for OCF as the State’s Housing Finance Agency. Additionally, OHCS has received resources to administer funds to the recipients of Project Turnkey 2.0 grants. This includes ongoing monitoring and oversight of these funds and the projects they support.
In 2020 the Oregon Legislature allocated a total of $65 million for Project Turnkey (1.0), for the purpose of acquiring motels/hotels for use as safe shelter for people experiencing homelessness, at-risk of homelessness or displaced by wildfires. In less than seven months, Project Turnkey 1.0 created 19 new shelters in 13 counties, leading to a 20% increase in the state supply of shelter beds. Each property is locally owned and operated by a local nonprofit organization or entity (such as city or county).
To learn more, please visit: https://oregoncf.org/assets/PDFs-and-Docs/PDFs/project-turnkey-report.pdf
About Oregon Housing and Community Services
Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) provides resources for Oregonians to reduce poverty and increase access to stable housing. OHCS focuses on both housing and community services to serve Oregonians holistically across the housing continuum, including preventing and ending homelessness, assisting with utilities, providing housing stability support, financing multifamily affordable housing and encouraging homeownership. To learn more, please visit: oregon.gov/ohcs.
About Oregon Community Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) was founded in 1973 with a big mission: to improve the lives of all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. In partnership with donors and volunteers, OCF works to strengthen communities in every county in Oregon through research, grantmaking and scholarships. In 2022, OCF distributed more than $180 million, supporting 3,500 grantees and awarding more than 3,000 scholarships. With OCF, individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds that meet the needs of diverse communities statewide.
2023 marks OCF’s 50th anniversary. Since its founding, OCF has distributed more than $2.2 billion in community investments, including grants to 10,850 nonprofits and 53,375 scholarships to students. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations can work with OCF to create charitable funds to support causes important to them. To learn more, please visit: oregoncf.org.