The ARCHES Project, an operating division of Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, Inc., (MWVCAA) recently moved from its old site on Madison St. NE to a much larger building at 615 Commercial St. NE at the northwest corner of the intersection of Union and Commercial streets.

ARCHES is a center to provide services such as meals, day room, emergency supplies and telephone to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Planned renovations will allow the center to add laundry and showers to its services. The project also has a housing program which includes placement, support and education.

The two-story building is on a large lot, .75 of an acre, and contains 32,670 SF. MWVCAA purchased it for $2.1 million on June 29, 2017. The agency paid $500,000 down and gave the seller, 615 Commercial St, LLC, a note and trust deed payable over ten years.

Since the new location is much larger than ARCHES’s previous site the project is reaching out to share space with other groups and agencies interested in working with the homeless. According to Jimmy Jones, Director of Community Resource Projects, members of the Oregon Health Authority and the Easter Seals now occupy portions of the building. Negotiations are underway with other groups that have similar missions to locate in the building.

Jones is enthusiastic about the site’s location. It is just north of Marion Park, a gathering place for those experiencing homelessness, and kitty corner from the location of the new police station. The two agencies have a strong relationship.

Thirty years ago the site was a used car lot. Most recently it has been a real estate office. With ARCHES’s arrival it may well play a leading role in the lack of available housing that is so prevalent in our city.