Inaugurating 75 new transitional housing apartments under Project Turnkey, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek was accompanied by Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA) officials. To acquire motels and hotels for use as non-congregate refuges for people experiencing homelessness, the Oregon Legislature has set aside $65 million for Project Turnkey in 2020.
The project was given a new name in 2022: Project Turnkey 2.0, and 50 million dollars were allocated from the general budget to complete it. Kotek, a former House speaker, has clarified that she intends to do all she can to see that Project Turnkey receives the financing it needs.
She said, “I have believed in Project Turnkey, even in that first round of funding a couple of years ago, being able to increase shelter capacity across the state by 20%.” Formerly known as the Capitol Inn and Suites, the MWVCAA has renamed its newly renovated shelter “The ARCHES Lodge,” thanks mainly to $3.56 million in funding from Project Turnkey 2.0.
Kotek said that opening shelters in hotels sped up the process of providing homes for the hundreds of individuals in need around the state. “This is a daunting challenge in front of us to make sure that every Oregonian has a safe place to sleep at night,” she said.
The increasing number of homeless people in Oregon is a problem that can only be solved gradually, according to Jimmy Jones, executive director of MWVCAA. “The way is just one more person at a time, it’s one more housing placement, it’s one more shelter bed, and in time, one more person becomes one less person outside,” he added.
On April 28th, the ARCHES Lodge will welcome individuals in need. Veterans and those with severe medical conditions will be given preference in allocating homes.
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“With recent and ongoing renovations, including the conversion of up to 10 units into ADA-accessible units, the facility is well-suited for medical respite and allows for a trauma-informed approach to services that meet Veterans Administration standards,” MWVCAA said in a press release.
“Operated by The ARCHES Project, a division of MWVCAA, the latest shelter provides connections to many supportive services throughout the broader community.”
Kotek assured us that he wouldn’t stop trying to get funding for initiatives like the ARCHES. “I’m going to be with you side by side as a strong partner fighting for every dime we can find,” she said.