Message from Councilor Megan Perkins
Because of the broad community interest in housing and houselessness, Councilors have added a new standing agenda item to Council business meetings to provide regular updates on City Council’s work on addressing houselessness. The City aims to increase Bend’s capacity of temporary housing options. The Council Goal is to develop facilities and housing for 500 individuals experiencing homelessness.
Message from Councilor Megan Perkins on 1/5/22:
We currently have 20-30 outdoor shelter sites in development. The City recently concluded a “request for proposal” process for operators of outdoor shelters and the City received two project proposals from Central Oregon Villages. They include:
- Senior Women’s Shelter (10 sites), location TBD
- Tiny Home Units (6 sites), location TBD
These should launch in the Spring of 2022. However, the first phase, once locations are chosen, will include the very important step of neighborhood outreach that’s specific to each location. That is anticipated to begin this winter.
- Also, St. Vincent DePaul (a 10-unit village) is under construction, with anticipated completion in March 2022.
Division Street Shelter (Project Turnkey) – former hotel
This shelter will be a low-barrier shelter with 28 rooms. A contract with NeighborImpact is being developed for operating the facility. We are looking at a possible early occupation in January 2022, with renovations occurring in Summer 2022. An informational, virtual Open House about this project is planned for 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 25. More info will be available on the City’s webpage next week.
Second Street (a designated permanent warming shelter)
The Second Street shelter is operated by Shepherd’s House and has 90 beds.
The facility is consistently full. I want to take a moment to thank Shepherd's House for all they did during the cold emergency last week. They went above and beyond for our houseless community.
In exciting news, a proposal has been received to operate a Navigation Center at this location, which would mean day services for our houseless community. Right now, the shelter opens at dinner and closes at breakfast. We’re evaluating the proposal.
Safe Parking Program - 12 spots available
The City is promoting the Safe Parking Program with local nonprofits, businesses and faith communities to encourage them to become Safe Parking partners.
Staff is connecting interested partners with details about the Safe Parking Program (Safe Parking Program | City of Bend (bendoregon.gov)) and with REACH, to learn more about how to provide case management and support services if they would like to become program partners.
An additional temporary shelter (a potential of 40-60 rooms)
A preferred site has been identified and the City has submitted an offer. If secured, City will be issuing a “request for proposals” process to identify an organization to operate the facility.
Efforts to improve efficiency and partnerships
We’re making progress on a Joint Office on Homelessness with Deschutes County. The City of Bend/Deschutes County application to be included in the legislation that would fund six pilot projects across the State has been approved, providing $1 million to help cover costs associated with this coordinated approach. This legislation and funding will be considered in upcoming legislative session which begins in February. A joint City/County meeting to discuss this concept further along with other projects that we are partnering on is planned for Jan. 28.
Efforts to manage the City’s Rights-of-Way to improve health and safety
- City staff continue to meet regularly with area service providers to coordinate resources and assess challenges in providing support for individuals camping throughout the city.
- Central Oregon Bio Solutions, a contractor of the City, removed over 3,000 pounds of garbage and debris from the Central District and returned over 40 shopping carts to their shops since the last Council meeting.
- City staff continue to distribute garbage bags, resource lists and fire prevention brochures to individuals experiencing houselessness.
- Through the City’s existing contract with REACH, 60 hours of case management and outreach were provided in December alone, along with a wide array of resources such as safe heating elements, blankets, batteries and diapers.
I just want to finish with a thank you to all of the service providers, Deschutes County workers, Pandemic Partners, and the volunteers who came together last week to help out during a really scary time for our houseless community. Let's all continue to work together to make sure that what happened last week is not an anomaly.
--Megan Perkins, City Councilor
There are about 1,000 people experiencing houselessness in Central Oregon on any given night, including families and youth. There are people with no place to go. Being homeless is not a crime. Cities can’t impose sanctions on a person for being homeless. Police can address criminal issues and will do so when circumstances warrant that.
A city’s ability to regulate sleeping
Until there are more places for people to go, the City is limited in how it manages camps in public places.
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