Local News

State Funding Needed To Open Redmond's Oasis Village

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond’s Oasis Village is one of a handful of local projects now in contract talks to receive funding from the state emergency homelessness package. Click HERE to learn more about the project. 

Things are moving fast after several years of planning. "I haven’t seen anything like this timeline before," Oasis Village board vice chair James Cook tells KBND News, "A few months ago, we were feeling dead in the water and working on Plan B, to see how we could make things happen." Then, the city of Redmond offered to coordinate their application with COIC, requesting $975,000 to develop a community of small shelters east of town on county-owned land. He hopes to house up to 20 people in those 15 one-room structures, which are being built by local high school students and other groups. 

"Primarily, the biggest obstacle is getting the utilities underneath Highway 126 and up to the site, which this grant will help us do," says Cook, "And this will also help us fund the community building for the site." That community building "will offer toilets, showers, some cooking facilities, community space, office space for case management services. Ultimately, we’d like to add about maybe 10 units each year after opening, to get to somewhere between 30 and 40 units."

Under the guidelines set by the Governor, projects funded by the emergency relief package must be operational by January 10, 2024. Cook says coordination between Oasis Village, city officials and the county gives him confidence it will open before then. He's optimistic at least part of the facility will open by November, giving priority to clients from Redmond.

He says the project needs the state funding to cover one-time expenses; operational funds are already secured, "It’s really hard to open something without having assurances that you’re going to be able to operate for a while. And fortunately, we have some funding from the Central Oregon Health Council and some flexible funding from the state already in place. So, we’re feeling pretty comfortable about our ability to get through the first year, year and a half, without needing sizable infusions of cash."

The long-term goal is to help transition people from homelessness into permanent housing. 

 

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