Douglas County agency could win grant to use hotels to house homeless

It’s likely the hotel could be used for wildfire victims or homeless people struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted: Mar 5, 2021 1:44 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2021 6:18 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A Douglas County agency could be getting millions of dollars in grant money to buy a hotel for the unsheltered.

The Oregon Community Foundation is leading Project Turnkey, a program that will distribute $65 million in state funding for the purpose of acquiring financially distressed motels and/or hotels for people who are experiencing homelessness or are at-risk.

The foundation will give $30 million to the eight counties that were affected by the 2020 wildfires, while the other $35 million will go to the 28 counties for general homelessness. 

“We want to make sure the most vulnerable members of each community are prioritized for shelter," said Megan Loeb, program officer at Oregon Community Foundation. 

Loeb said that they cannot disclose which agency has applied for the grant. However, KEZI 9 News learned that the Douglas County government is not involved and that it's likely a local nonprofit. The involved agency is in the financial stages of the application process.

“That applicant right now is in deep due diligence with our real estate consultant to identify a property that is a long-term community asset," she said. 

Although it is still not clear, Loeb also said it’s likely the hotel could be used for wildfire victims or homeless people struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Archie Creek Fire victim Shawna Fabela said she hopes it's used for wildfire victims, as it can be hard to find housing in Douglas County. 

“I think it’s a good idea, for the people who truly truly need it," she said. 

This comes as Lane County purchases the Red Lion Hotel in Eugene through Project Turnkey to serve as housing for wildfire victims. For more information, CLICK HERE.

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