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80-bed homeless shelter opens in Salem

Arches Inn will house 100 people when it's completely finished. It's part of a larger plan to create more than 700 new shelter beds in the city.

SALEM, Ore. — A new shelter has opened in Salem. The Arches Inn is a motel turned nonprofit. It's located on Hawthorne Avenue and will serve approximately 100 people.

Arches Inn is part of a larger plan to create more than 700 new shelter beds to get people off the streets in Salem

"We acquired the facility for $5.9 million, it's an 80-room facility geared towards the future," said Arches Program Director Ashley Hamilton.

Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett said the city will continue to add more beds for homeless people.

"The Union Gospel Mission is adding beds," Bennett said. "We are opening Yaquina Hall which is the old nurses' quarters at the old state hospital. We have as many as 150 of those little pop-up houses here in town."

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Each client that stays at Arches Inn will have access to food, laundry and mental and behavioral health services. There will also be caseworkers to help people find long-term housing. The goal is to keep clients in the shelter for 90 days. Officials said the plan is to move wildfire victims in first, and then people who struggle with chronic homelessness. 

James Bournes has been living on the streets of Salem for a few years now. He wants to get into housing as soon as possible. He said he had multiple serious ailments. 

"Getting into a place like this would be more worth my while," said Bournes.

As of now, the first floor of the shelter is done, the second and third floors should be completely renovated by Spring 2022. 

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