REDMOND, OR -- The Bethlehem Inn officially opens its new Redmond homeless shelter this week. Executive Director Gwenn Wysling says work to renovate the 1960s-era Greenway Motel was partially funded through the Legislature, which approved money to help communities convert old hotels and motels into shelters for the houseless. It’s the first “Project Turnkey” property in Redmond. "And it is the first year-round shelter in Redmond," Wysling tells KBND News, "One of our wonderful partners, Shepherd’s House, has done winter shelters for, I believe, 7 or 8 years and they too are looking to bring a shelter also here to Redmond, because we have seen the need expand."
Wysling says they'll start with 15-20 adults, but the facility will eventually house 88 in dormitory-style rooms. She adds, they learned from their Bend facility and included critical features in Redmond, "We have a commercial kitchen. We’ve operated a shelter before, for 10 years, without a kitchen and we weren’t going to do that again. A dining room; and, we of course needed a dining space if we’re going to have 88 people living in this facility."
The shelter recently received its certificate of occupancy, Wysling says they can now provide a slate of services to the houseless community, "We offer case management to immediately assess what their individual situation is. Housing is, obviously, of utmost concern. But we want to look at: what is their current employment status/income? Many people are working; they’re just struggling to find housing. So, we want to use the case management goal setting to see how they can get connected to the resources." She says they work with 70 partner agencies to help residents.
The Redmond Chamber will host a ribbon-cutting Friday at 1 p.m. at the shelter located at 5th and NW Birch.