Salem’s Yaquina Hall to Address Needs of Chronically Homeless

Posted on March 23, 2023

Opening Celebration Scheduled for April 5, 2023

Salem, Ore. – In celebration of the Yaquina Hall Apartments completion, the City of Salem and its partners are hosting a grand opening event April 5 at 1 p.m. The Yaquina Hall Apartments, located in the former Oregon State Hospital Nursing building at 2720 B Street NE in Salem, will provide 52 units designed to address the needs of Salem’s most vulnerable, including those with serious and persistent mental illness. On-site supportive services will address the unique needs of community members experiencing homelessness, and those with disabilities in developing permanent housing goals.

“My goal is a home for every neighbor, and the completion of Yaquina Hall will help move us towards that,” said Salem Mayor Chris Hoy. “These units, and the services that come with them, will be a lifeline to over 52 individuals experiencing significant challenges finding stability and a home. I’m grateful to the state and our legislative delegation for their help in making this project a reality.”

The April 5 event will provide the community an opportunity to view the historic preservation of this facility before officially welcoming residents May 1. Retired Oregon State Hospital Nursing staff who trained and lived in the dorms are encouraged to join the celebration and see the facility’s transformation and preservation.

“The Individualized Housing Stability Plan addresses the unique needs of the chronically homeless population and their permanent housing goals,” said Nicole Utz, Salem Housing Authority Director. “Service pathways for Yaquina-Southfair residents will be designed to address all relevant social determinants of health including economic stability, social and community re-integration, education, health care, neighborhood and environment, spiritual wellness, and many others.”

Participation in services is not mandatory, but service coordinators will engage with residents through motivational interviewing and trauma-informed care strategies to support residents in their path toward addressing their personal causes for instability, and actively working to mitigate those barriers to the greatest degree possible.

The identification of service needs will come from the residents themselves and will be informed by factors such as: age, gender, disability status, household composition, and current health conditions. Resident Services staff will then implement a comprehensive housing stability plan and promote the connectivity to services (both on-site and off). Such service needs may include food stability, economic hardship resources for basic needs, access to health care services of all kinds, transportation, etc.

The waiting list for these units will offer a limited preference to applicants who are disabled, homeless or at risk of homelessness, or who would benefit from the services provided and have been referred to the waiting list through coordinated entry.

The Yaquina Hall Apartments project cost is $18,634,000. Project funding partners include NOAH, US Bank, Oregon Housing and Community Services, City of Salem and Salem Housing Authority. The units will be subsidized through HUD project-based vouchers and residents will pay 30% of their income for rent.

Additional information about Salem Housing Authority and assistance programs for low-and moderate-income families in Salem are available online.

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