Photo courtesy of East Oregonian

Eastern Oregon

Keeping the Promise: Public-Private Partnership Pays Dividends in Pendleton With Promise Inn

Debby Pulse worries about her water bills. Utility costs here, the Pendleton resident has heard, have shot up. On her fixed retirement income such bumps take a toll on everything. Pulse’s larger concern, however, is getting a permanent roof over her head. A few weeks ago she officially became a house renter, ending a period of personal homelessness, the 73-year-old said, and she credits Promise Inn for helping her land on her feet.

This is exactly the kind of story Paula Hall wants to hear. As chief executive officer of CAPECO — Community Action Program of East Central Oregon — Hall has been highly invested in the success of the downtown Pendleton motel-turned-shelter for the past 2-1/2 years.

The clock started when CAPECO was an early beneficiary of the state-funded "Project Turnkey." A $125M public-private partnership administered by Oregon Community Foundation. In March 2021, the Foundation granted $1.3 million to the Pendleton nonprofit for purchase of the former Whiskey Inn motel to take it from a troubled, run-down property to a facility offering temporary housing to folks in unhoused situations. Read the full East Oregonian article here