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Oregon Community Foundation Awards Nearly $7 Million to Rockwood CDC to Bring Critical Help to One of the Most Underserved Areas of Multnomah County 

Gresham, Ore. – May 28, 2021

Project Turnkey

Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) today announced that Rockwood Community Development Corporation (Rockwood CDC) will receive a Project Turnkey grant of nearly $7 million for the acquisition and conversion of a 75-room motel in Gresham, Oregon. The property will serve as a COVID-respite shelter for vulnerable community members needing safe housing. Rockwood CDC provides culturally relevant programs, services and referrals to meet specific needs of underserved and multicultural communities of outer East Multnomah County.

“While the pandemic affected everyone, none felt its blow as hard as our vulnerable neighbors did. The Project Turnkey-Gresham will help East Multnomah County rise to the incredible challenge we’re currently facing,” said Brad Ketch, Chairman, Board of Director, Rockwood CDC. “Rockwood CDC looks forward lifting up community members in need  not only with shelter, but with culturally competent services so that they can truly move forward to live good, productive and meaningful lives.”

Key benefits of Project Turnkey-Gresham, operated by Rockwood CDC, include:

  • Safe accommodation for up to 75 individuals or families.
  • Provision of meals, clothing, and essentials such as showers, laundry, hygiene items, etc.
  • An inclusive, community-based, trauma-informed and culturally relevant model that helps unhoused and at-risk community members move from crisis to stability.

“Trusted partners like Wallace Medical are on the front lines serving one of the most under-resourced and disproportionately impacted areas in Oregon,” said Lynn Ketch, Board President for Wallace Medical and Executive Director, Rockwood CDC. “This Project Turnkey grant will provide a much-needed lifeline for underprivileged children and families and other vulnerable community members.”

Today, in the Reynolds School District, we serve nearly 1000 children who are experiencing homelessness. “Providing stable housing and related trauma-informed services as a base is critical for our ability as a school district to be able to support those students through their growth in learning,” said Superintendent Dr. Danna Diaz, Reynolds School District. “Data shows that housing insecurity among children has been associated with mental health issues, substance abuse, and increased behavior problems – all of which hamper a child’s ability to be successful in school.”

The Project Turnkey-Gresham property is located in outer Northeast Portland, Oregon in the 97230 zip code, and will begin use as an active shelter for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness this summer, with plans to open the remaining rooms to the most vulnerable community members through the pandemic. Longer term, Rockwood CDC will renovate the property to provide transitional housing.

Oregon Community Foundation offers support for Oregon’s housing needs along a continuum—from shelter to supportive housing to affordable housing to equitable home ownership—through a variety of tools, including research, grants, advocacy, and low-interest loans.

“The Project Turnkey Advisory Committee enthusiastically supported funding for Rockwood CDC because of their expertise and track record in providing culturally relevant programming to serve under-resourced, multicultural populations throughout outer East Multnomah County,” said Megan Loeb, Program Officer for OCF. “The broad coalition of nearly 30 community partners connected to Rockwood CDC and Project Turnkey-Gresham in truly impressive.”

OCF’s administration of Project Turnkey is one example of the innovative, collaborative approaches underway to help more Oregonians find stable, affordable housing. For a complete list of Project Turnkey grant awardees, please visit Project Turnkey online.

About Project Turnkey
The Oregon Legislature allocated a total of $65 million for Project Turnkey for the purpose of acquiring motels/hotels for use as non-congregate shelter for people experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness. Two discrete funds were provided by the state: one totaling $30 million to be awarded in counties and tribal communities impacted by the 2020 wildfires; and one totaling $35 million for the remaining 28 counties in the state. Oregon Community Foundation is administering both funds through an application and selection process, with guidance from an Advisory Committee of state, local, and community stakeholders. For more information, please visit Project Turnkey online.

About Rockwood CDC
Rockwood CDC works to make East Multnomah County a place where everyone can learn, earn and belong. Rockwood CDC is a unit of the Community Development Corporation of Oregon (www.cdcoregon.org). The CDCO’s other initiatives include the Sunrise Center, Oregon Community Capital, East County Community Health, and the Rockwood Food Systems Collaborative.

About Reynolds School District
Reynolds School District serves a diverse student population of more than 10,800 over five cities in the Greater Portland area – Fairview, Troutdale, Wood Village, North Gresham, and East Portland. The students and families represent more than 125 birth countries and 61 spoken languages. To learn more, please visit: https://reynolds.k12.or.us.

About Oregon Community Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation puts donated money to work in Oregon — more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. Since 1973, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving — time, talent, and resources from many generous Oregonians — creates measurable change. Throughout 2020, OCF responded quickly and urgently — distributing a record-setting $220 million in charitable dollars to more than 3,000 nonprofits throughout Oregon working to address urgent needs, stabilize communities and prepare for long-term recovery in Oregon. OCF donors responded to the magnitude of need, as reflected in a 44% increase in donor advised fund grantmaking from the previous year.
For more information, please visit: oregoncf.org.

About the City of Gresham
Gresham is Oregon’s fourth largest city and the Portland metro region’s second largest city. Gresham’s diverse population includes longtime residents, young professionals, families, and new immigrant communities. The city has experienced rapid growth over the last 20 years – from a rural, farming community to a burgeoning urban area. To learn more, please visit: greshamoregon.gov.

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Press Conference Photos