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Ashland group receives $4.2 million grant to convert motel into shelter facility

Options for Helping Residents of Ashland is the first Oregon group to receive a 'Project Turnkey' grant from the state in order to found a new shelter.

Posted: Feb 4, 2021 11:25 AM
Updated: Feb 4, 2021 7:23 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. — An Ashland-based organization will receive a $4.2 million grant from the state in order to buy and convert a local motel into a shelter facility, part of Oregon's newly-funded "Project Turnkey."

The Oregon Community Foundation announced on Thursday that Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (OHRA) had been selected to be the first recipient of a Project Turnkey grant. The funds are meant to be used to create a resource center and shelter facility for people in the community "negatively impacted by wildfires and the COVID-19 pandemic."

OHRA plans to convert the Super 8 motel building at 2350 Ashland Street into a shelter, with hopes of having the center open at a limited capacity in March for the most vulnerable members of the community.

At the outset, the new building will offer 20 separated living areas that can accommodate as many as 30 people, but will eventually expand to 50 available rooms for up to 70 people.

The current OHRA shelter accommodates a maximum of 44 people, all in a common room. With COVID-19 still a major concern, proponents of the project consider separated living quarters a much safer alternative.

“There is a huge need for the new OHRA Center, given the triple impact of wildfires, economic impact from Covid-19 and the shortage of affordable housing in the great Ashland area,” said Michelle Arellano, executive director of OHRA. “We’re ecstatic to be able to meet this demand and make a difference in our broader community.”

According to the state, the number of people seeking services each day from OHRA tripled over the last year. Arellano said that the new OHRA center will offer greater capacity for staff to help people transition from crisis to stability and services for residents to seek jobs.

The Oregon Legislature's Emergency Board set aside $65 million in state funds in November of 2020 so that local organizations throughout the state could purchase financially distressed motels and convert them into safe shelters, with the potential of developing them into long-term housing.

“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 state Representative Pam Marsh. “For far too long our shelter providers have had to scramble to find a place for people to come in from the cold. Now we have a permanent location in the community that will serve as a base to help individuals regain their footing. I am thrilled — and deeply grateful.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309841

Reported Deaths: 3569
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah50840642
Washington34683272
Marion32181388
Clackamas26315270
Lane23632246
Jackson20753255
Deschutes16401100
Umatilla12552125
Douglas10599185
Linn1030285
Josephine8536163
Yamhill737299
Klamath637891
Polk617770
Malheur475867
Benton454027
Coos406469
Columbia320237
Jefferson310446
Lincoln272829
Union266036
Wasco236739
Crook212137
Clatsop210225
Tillamook179623
Baker171920
Morrow166621
Curry166317
Hood River161635
Harney77115
Grant7538
Lake6608
Wallowa50111
Gilliam1364
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4636268

Reported Deaths: 67966
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144412725849
Riverside3575584802
San Diego3492274006
San Bernardino3468955501
Orange3135295354
Sacramento1498662070
Santa Clara1403871841
Fresno1356471889
Kern1343971515
Alameda1160681320
Ventura976231120
San Joaquin971621615
Contra Costa95595924
Stanislaus800341229
Tulare72812896
San Mateo52172607
San Francisco51808605
Monterey49445565
Solano44061312
Santa Barbara43065500
Sonoma39376376
Merced39279535
Placer36390364
Imperial34235755
Kings30038285
San Luis Obispo28273313
Madera21672258
Butte21205230
Shasta20647276
Santa Cruz20134211
Yolo19118239
Marin17080242
El Dorado15964127
Sutter13055153
Napa1224695
Yuba923461
Nevada845685
Humboldt826284
Tehama821184
San Benito708567
Mendocino681971
Lassen636827
Tuolumne612593
Lake601087
Amador489759
Glenn396430
Siskiyou388841
Calaveras339366
Del Norte334234
Colusa290718
Inyo166239
Mono14935
Plumas12336
Mariposa96712
Trinity71910
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1180
Alpine1000
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