News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Homeless to be housed on Barclay

The Cold Weather Shelter, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Sisters, has won final approval of a $1.46 million grant from the recent tranche of $13.9 million provided to Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties. The funding comes from the $98 million pot enacted by Senate Bill 5019 that gives sole authority of the funds' disbursement to Gov. Kotek who has made fighting homelessness in the state her top priority.

The $13.9 million emergency funding is intended to create 111 new shelter beds and rehousing 161 households from unsheltered homelessness in the tri-county area. It is against these goals that Sisters Cold Weather Shelter formulated their application.

With the award, the Shelter can now close on the $950,000 purchase of a commercial building located at 192 W. Barclay Dr. midway between Sun Ranch Drive and Pine Street. The structure will be converted to dormitory style housing units for eligible houseless including those dwelling in the forest nearby.

The two-story building, constructed in 1993, is 6,000 square feet and sits on .53 acres. Advocates for the houseless hope that the building, located as it is in a commercial area, should mitigate any concerns of relocating homeless people into residential neighborhoods.

When converted, the Barclay property will feature 12-24 seasonal beds. Included in the grant is $181,000 in salaries, half of which would come from other sources. Positions to be funded are a mix of full and part-time and include an executive director, non-certified case manager, coordinator and nighttime shelter monitor.

There is also a desire to relocate Deschutes County's behavioral health case worker from his shared office at Sisters High School to the Barclay facility.

The case worker, David Fox, cannot actually see homeless clients at the school given the history of many of them who would ordinarily be precluded from entering school premises due to health or safety concerns. Having Fox, who splits his time between Sisters and La Pine, located at the shelter would be a natural fit advocates say.

The grant will also enable Sisters Cold Weather Shelter to lease four apartments in the city for applicants transitioning to HUD Section 8 housing.

The Shelter's board is now going through the bureaucratic gauntlet of permits, and scouring of the small print in the apartment leases. Luis Blanchard, Shelter Board President, told The Nugget that "it's easier in concept than reality but we are prepared to go through the process step-by-step."

There is no definitive timeline for when the building will be ready for occupancy, but under the terms of the legislation, the monies must be spent by early next year.


Reader Comments(1)

transform2023 writes:

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