New facility helps Bethlehem Inn provide hope to unhoused individuals


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The solar array installed on the families building will continue to help Bethlehem Inn save money and energy while the singles building is solar ready.

Bethlehem Inn, an emergency shelter that serves unhoused individuals and families in Central Oregon, recently upgraded to two energy-efficient and ADA-compliant buildings to accommodate single residents and families. Formerly operating out of an old motel, the shelter’s new complex can now serve twice as many community members as before.

Working with BLRB Architects, SunWest Builders and Energy Trust of Oregon, the Inn received $59,140 in Energy Trust cash incentives and is projected to save $17,384 annually due to energy-efficient features including LED lighting, packaged terminal heat pumps and more. A solar array was also installed on the families building, while the singles building is solar ready.

Constructing a safe, compassionate and secure atmosphere was a top priority for the development team. “With a project that serves the community like Bethlehem Inn, the conversation turns to creating a supportive environment,” said Seth Anderson, principal architect, BLRB Architects. “The graphics and interior feel that we used create a sense of place and normalcy, which treats people with respect and dignity.”

The Inn’s two programs—the Next StepsTM Adult Program and the Families FirstTM program—focus on goal setting for their residents. In addition to food and shelter, both programs offer access to community resources, hygiene products and clothing, and a positive and dignified environment combined with guidelines and accountability.

“There’s so much to be proud of in terms of what our residents do and the resilience they have when they’ve lost everything and come asking for help,” said Gwenn Wysling, executive director, Bethlehem Inn. “For them to know that our community is willing to hold them up until they can hold themselves up again—it’s transformational for us and for the residents themselves.”

Read our Bethlehem Inn case study to learn more about the new facilities and how they help unhoused individuals. And if you’re planning a new building or major renovation to benefit your local community, be sure to check out our incentives and resources or call us at 1.877.467.0930.