The Bend City Council has recently authorized the purchase of the Rainbow Motel, at its January 19 meeting, in order to use the properties to provide temporary shelter to people experiencing homelessness.
This is going to be the second motel which the city is planning to convert into a shelter after Bend Value Inn in July. The government has granted a funding of $2.97 million for this purpose.
Bend is a small city on the Deschutes River, in Oregon. The City Council is aiming to add 500 new shelter beds by 2023 to augment the 280 beds currently available year-round. The Rainbow Motel, residing on an acre of land in Bend’s Central District on Franklin Avenue, will cost $4.55 million, as per a recent statement released by the City Council.
City Councilor Megan Perkins stated, “Buying the motel is an opportunistic public investment that can meet a variety of short-term and long-term community needs including but not limited to an immediate need for transitional shelter, as well as future possible site for city hall, affordable housing, a civic plaza or other public uses.”
The Rainbow Motel will be managed by a nonprofit selected through a competitive process. The motel is expected start by late spring or early summer, and will have around 40-60 shelter beds. It will be used as a low-barrier shelter for 2 to 3 years before being transitioned to a different use.