By early May, 74 new shelter and transitional housing units will be ready for veterans and medically fragile people experiencing homelessness in Salem.
The Capital Inn & Suites on Fisher Road NE near Sunnyview Road in northeast Salem was purchased by the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency and will be turned into the ARCHES Lodge. The 74-room motel will be converted into enough housing for 100 people, agency executive director Jimmy Jones said.
Who is paying for it?
The agency received a Project Turnkey 2.0 grant of $3.56 million toward the total project cost of $7.56 million to acquire and renovate the motel.
The round of funding was the second iteration of the state-funded grant program administered by the Oregon Community Foundation to increase the state’s supply of emergency and transitional housing.
The $10.6 million is expected to fund a dozen emergency shelters and 140 new transitional housing units in 2023.
Oregon Community Foundation officials said the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency is building on its success of the ARCHES Inn, another converted motel funded by the first round of Project Turnkey.
“The unsheltered crisis in Oregon is a human tragedy, but thankfully, it is a tragedy we can bring to an end,” Jones said. “Our Project Turnkey Award from Oregon Community Foundation will end homelessness for another 100 impoverished and vulnerable residents of our community.”
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Who the program helps
Through Project Turnkey, 19 motels transformed into shelters using $74.7 million in state funds. It added 865 housing units to the state’s emergency shelter supply, according to the Oregon Community Foundation.
The ARCHES Inn opened in 2021 at the former Super 8 motel on Hawthorne Road. The 80-room motel prioritized those displaced by the 2020 wildfires.
Community leaders have stressed the need for more investment in supportive housing and shelter beds.
“Simply put, our unsheltered neighbors are suffering,” said Ashley Hamilton, chief program officer of housing and homelessness for the agency. “Not only are they living in often unsafe situations, but they also face fierce challenges when it comes to their own livelihood: chronic health conditions, mental health concerns, substance use, or even a combination of the above. When unsheltered, even trying to meet one’s own basic needs is often a struggle.”
What additional assistance will it provide?
Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency will operate the new property on Fisher through its ARCHES Project to provide shelter and services for veterans, medically fragile individuals and households referred by culturally specific partners.
With recent and ongoing renovations, including the conversion of up to 10 rooms into ADA-accessible units, the facility is suited for medical respite and allows for a trauma-informed approach to services that meets the Veterans Administration standards, agency leaders said.
The agency will connect with community partners to provide a range of supportive services including housing navigation, access to food and healthcare, and culturally specific supports.
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With 24/7 staffing, the lodge will offer wraparound services to residents, helping them move on to more permanent housing.
Staff will also coordinate addiction treatment, mental health services and primary medical care for residents and connect them to benefits, job training and employment opportunities.
“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,” Hamilton said.
For questions, comments and news tips, email reporter Whitney Woodworth at email@example.com, call 503-910-6616 or follow on Twitter @wmwoodworth