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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: 193732

Reported Deaths: 2572
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah38352591
Washington25592233
Marion22026306
Clackamas17440214
Lane13007148
Jackson10862139
Deschutes896274
Umatilla820284
Linn492969
Yamhill446376
Klamath441164
Polk375752
Malheur351863
Josephine334570
Douglas327271
Benton310019
Jefferson219837
Coos206633
Columbia174427
Union144823
Lincoln137921
Wasco137728
Hood River118730
Crook111322
Morrow110716
Clatsop9858
Baker95414
Tillamook6493
Curry6469
Grant5095
Lake4517
Harney3448
Wallowa1845
Gilliam631
Sherman581
Wheeler321
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3764405

Reported Deaths: 62573
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123645624067
Riverside2994554594
San Bernardino2967824715
San Diego2785913729
Orange2709835026
Santa Clara1190642096
Kern1091771374
Sacramento1048401686
Fresno1018381688
Alameda879401657
Ventura810011013
San Joaquin732201391
Contra Costa68741805
Stanislaus621421061
Tulare49654839
Monterey43613383
San Mateo42038568
San Francisco36720544
Santa Barbara34337456
Solano32953252
Merced31898460
Sonoma30035320
Imperial28443726
Kings22989246
Placer22679292
San Luis Obispo21308260
Madera16462242
Santa Cruz16264207
Marin14056227
Yolo13910210
Shasta12152226
Butte12026199
El Dorado10168112
Napa987082
Sutter9433112
Yuba626847
San Benito606563
Lassen570624
Tehama557262
Nevada474275
Tuolumne413166
Mendocino410149
Humboldt404641
Amador365847
Lake347643
Glenn239125
Colusa223416
Siskiyou223424
Calaveras212954
Inyo142838
Del Norte13938
Mono12844
Plumas7106
Modoc4994
Mariposa4487
Trinity4005
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned520
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