Washington County Gets 6.2 Million Grant To Convert Motel Into Shelter

It’s a very sad reality that homelessness is still a very real issues in the United States. We’ve talked somewhat about how individual states are handling this issue. One factor is that some people have become homelessness due to the impacts of COVID-19. And some states like Alabama have received grants to try and help with that issue. However, some states, are trying to tackle the issue as a whole. And that’s what today’s story is about. Washington County, in Oregon has received a $6.2 million grant from Project Turnkey to be able to convert a motel into a shelter to provide temporary housing for those who are struggling. Oregon as a state had seen a decrease in people experiencing homelessness between 2019-2020. But as the pandemic continues, those numbers may change.

Before we start talking about this story, here’s a bonus for our readers. A grant we have listed for Oregon Nonprofits providing essential services during the pandemic.

So Let’s Talk About This Project Turnkey

This project was funded though Project Turnkey. What does that mean? Last year, the Oregon state legislature allocated over $65 million in state funds to be awarded to community organizations. The idea behind Project Turnkey is to buy old hotels and motels and turn them into housing for the homeless. Half of the funds were to be allocated to help those who became homeless because of the wildfires that ravaged Oregon. The other half of the funds were to go to help people who became homeless for other reasons.

Megan Loeb, who runs the Oregon Community Foundation, said at the time that this could create several types of housing. These renovated hotel/motel properties could be used for long-term shelters, transitional housing as well as more permanent housing solutions. This is critical as there may be several reasons someone is currently unhoused. The actual program is part of a larger $390 million relief package aimed at mitigating damage from the wildfires.

What This Will Mean For Washington County

So, what does this all mean for the project to be undertaken in Washington County? Well it means that some of the county’s most vulnerable people may have a solution soon. The 60-room motel will be turned into a shelter to for the homeless. It will also be used as a COVID-19 respite place for season & migrant workers who need a safe space. The Oregon Community Foundation, says that this will be the first shelter for single adults anywhere in Washington County. OCF also said that two nonprofit organizations have partnered with the county.

These two partners are Beinstar, a nonprofit that helps provide housing to Latino families in need. And the Urban League of Portland, one of the state’s oldest civil rights organizations. These organizations will be on hand to “help ensure that programs, services and referrals are culturally relevant to meet the specific needs of underserved populations.”

Here’s what Washington County had to say about this grant award: “With help from Project Turnkey, this collaborative effort will enable some of the most vulnerable members of our community to safely move forward on their path toward one day having permanent housing,” said Washington County Board Chair Kathryn Harrington. “We are grateful to the Oregon Legislature and Oregon Community Foundation for this funding. We also appreciate our partners at the Urban League, Bienestar and the City of Hillsboro for helping to make this project a reality.”

GrantWatch Understands Why This Project Is So Important

Stories like this are so important. Ensuring that our most vulnerable populations have access to housing is critical. Initiatives that work to provide both temporary and more permanent housing can make all the difference. That’s why at Grantwatch we are so happy to have an entire grant category for similar projects. We have two grant categories that may be helpful in this situation. One for homeless-related grants, as well as one for housing-related grants.

If you have any questions about these grant categories or any others, reach out to our team! Our customer support-staff is on hand to answer any questions you may have. You can reach them by calling 561-249-4129!

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