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Project Turnkey creates emergency housing in Klamath County

Holly Dillemuth
JPR News
The former Oregon Motel 8 and RV Park on Highway 97 North in Klamath County has been converted into a transitional housing project for those in need.

A motel and RV park in Klamath County has been transformed into transitional housing for people in need. The initiative is known as Project Turnkey and it opened this week.

The motel will house people affected by wildfires and people having a mental health crisis. It will also serve as transitional housing for those recently incarcerated or people who need to quarantine for health purposes. The people who live at Project Turnkey will pay a small, subsidized rent.

Kelley Minty Morris is the chair of the Klamath County Commission. She says this service is different from the typical shelters in the area.

“This is not intended to be a facility to address homeless issues in the Klamath Basin," says Morris. "There is already a facility that addresses that, the Klamath Gospel Mission. This is really intended to address the temporary and emergency type housing needs that arise each year.”

The project is paid for by a one-time $1.7 million grant administered through the Oregon Community Foundation. Klamath County was one of only eight counties in Oregon that was eligible for the grant. Part of the money included over $200,000 to renovate the motel, which has 29 bedrooms and is located only a couple miles away from downtown Klamath Falls.

Klamath County is the latest county to convert a motel into a shelter, following in the footsteps of Ashland and Eugene.

Sophia Prince is a reporter and producer for JPR News. She began as JPR’s 2021 summer intern through the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in journalism and international studies.