Turn key

The Bend Value Inn is at 2346 NE Division St. in Bend. This photo was taken in May.

The city of Bend has received $2.97 million from the state to buy the Bend Value Inn and turn it into a managed homeless shelter.

The shelter, which is at 2346 NE Division St., provides 28 shelter rooms, according to the city.

The roughly 9,000 square-foot building will open after the city makes renovations. The hope is to have the shelter open for use by the end of the year, said Ben Hemson, the city’s business advocate.

“It’s been a long process but certainly a shorter process than building from the ground up,” Hemson said.

The money for the shelter comes from Project Turnkey, in which the Oregon Community Foundation allocated state funding to local communities to buy hotel property to renovate into homeless shelters.

The city initially identified a different motel, the Old Mill & Suites, in February but backed out of the deal due to significant structural issues with the building. Later this spring, the council decided to move forward with purchasing the Bend Value Inn over the Rainbow Motel because it was cheaper.

Roughly $500,000 of the $2.97 million given to the city is for renovations, Hemson said. He anticipates the $500,000 will largely cover the cost of building improvements.

The nonprofit NeighborImpact will manage the shelter once it is open. The city intends to work with people currently residing at the property to make sure they have a place to live while the hotel is remodeled, according to the city.

“Transitional housing with the support services is exactly what we need in this moment,” Mayor Sally Russell said. “It couldn’t come at a better time.”

There will be a community open house later this month that will explain plans for remodeling and information about how it will be managed. and an opportunity to ask city staff questions about the new shelter.

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Reporter: 541-633-2160,

bvisser@bendbulletin.com

(2) comments

Gary Mendoza

If the number of vagrants goes up in Bend (and that’s the way to bet), this will prove to be a very unsound investment.

kindergentlerbend

Commendable, of course, and greatly needed. Yet, the numbers indicate that so much more is needed on an emergency basis to help ALL of the unhoused in our area--more than 1000 in Bend, alone. The City of Bend assured us that within 30 to 90 days a managed camp with wraparound services would be open for occupancy in 30 to 90 days. I believe we passed the 30-day mark; what progress is occurring on this front? We've already lost three human beings to exposure since November; how many more will the bureaucratic account books allow to be lost before the City hall machinery clicks into action?

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