Today, Opportunity Fund is very excited to announce the closing of a $11.52 million loan for Union Gospel Mission of Salem (“UGMS”), the largest provider of meals and shelter for the homeless in the Salem, Oregon metro area, in partnership with Raza Development Fund, Pioneer Trust Bank, and Chase Bank. The loan, made possible with federal New Markets Tax Credits, will enable UGMS to build a new 57,220 square feet facility.
UGMS works to transition homeless individuals into housing and independent living by providing shelter and meals, substance abuse recovery, supportive services, education, and job and housing placement.
UGMS’ current men’s shelter is an amalgamation of three buildings. With some parts over 100 years old, the current building is aging and overcrowded. The new facility will almost double their capacity for overnight shelter as well as provide dedicated spaces for case management, counseling, administration, and the recreational and educational activities that will support the life transformation processes critical to reducing long-term homelessness.
In addition, this project will create or retain 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) permanent jobs. UGMS provides opportunities for training and advancement. Historically, 30% of UGMS’ staff have been graduates of their programs and were low-income when hired. Program graduates often have barriers to employment such as intermittent work history, past incarceration, legal, and credit issues.
– 5,200 projected unique individuals served annually, of which 100% will be low-income
– 50 FTE permanent jobs projected to be created or retained (23 for low-income individuals), all paying living wages and receiving benefits
– 83 projected construction jobs (23 for low-income individuals)
Funding of the UGMS new facility represents Opportunity Fund’s ongoing commitment to supporting community facilities that provide services that are often neglected in low-income neighborhoods, such as education, food, and temporary shelter.
If you are interested in learning more about the Opportunity Fund’s New Markets Tax Credit Program, please reach out to Marissa Meir at Marissa@OpportunityFund.org.