BEND, Ore. - The Bethlehem Inn homeless shelter in Bend is almost done renovating its new facility. It reached another milestone on Friday when it completed the parking lot expansion.
The old hotel that served as the original family shelter on the site was demolished earlier in August to make room for the new parking lot.
Gwenn Wysling, Bethlehem Inn's executive director, said the project could not have been finished at a better time. She said the shelter was housing 145 people Friday night, which is more than double the number of people it housed each night when construction for the new facility began 2 1/2 years ago. In 2017, Wysling said an average of 65-75 people stayed there each night.
The parking lot is one final part of a $9 million fundraising campaign. Wysling said the shelter is about $100,000 away from reaching that goal.
This weekend, Bend Parks and Recreation, along with well-known Bend band Precious Byrd, are stepping in to help close the gap by organizing a concert at The Pavilion Sunday evening.
"We planned this a year ago, and it couldn't have been planned on a more spectacular day and weekend, as we are coming to the close of this campaign,” Wysling said Friday. “This is a way to celebrate all the donors that helped make this campaign happen, and to celebrate our community."
This concert marks a milestone for Bend Parks and Recreation as well. It's the first concert being held at The Pavilion. It will be on the lawn west of the rink, in order to accommodate the 500 guests.
Officials with Bend Parks and Recreation said The Pavilion is not intended to be a concert venue, so if there are any more shows, they will need to stay on a smaller scale.
The Precious Byrd fundraiser concert is on Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25, and Wysling said the show is almost sold out.