At a Nov. 3 work session, Bend's City Council heard an update on plans to provide managed camps for houseless persons. Council members expressed a sense of urgency to provide safe places for some of the homeless individuals and families in our community. There are more than 1,100 persons living on streets or in camps but only 215 shelter beds.
Of eight sites being considered for some type of safe managed camp are Juniper Ridge and the 9th Street parcel near Bend High School. These are two of the few parcels the city owns. In Juniper Ridge along the extension of 18th Street is a large area identified as Crusher #2 which was leveled during the sewer construction.
Gena Goodman-Campbell suggested the parcel could be a hub for service providers offering social service and medical help to those camped in Juniper Ridge.
She also expressed the notion there is room for a safe parking area similar to that managed by REACH at Trinity Lutheran Church.
BANA's members heard about that program last month with Stacy Witte, REACH director, shared the success that organization has had in providing a safe place for parking that allows the owner to sleep in his or her car. There are strict rules governing the parking camp.
The Council directed City Manager Eric King and his staff to investigate these ideas as part of the plan to address the houseless problem.