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Part of DCSO work center to serve as emergency warming shelter

Homeless Leadership Coalition, NeighborImpact, others partner in effort

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Part of the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office work-release center will be used to house up to 48 people as an emergency warming shelter during the winter, the Homeless Leadership Coalition announced Thursday.

The HLC said it has been working with its regional network of emergency and permanent shelters and service providers to ensure a location for a warming shelter in Bend this winter.

Here's the rest of the coalition's announcement:

A warming shelter is vital in order to keep individuals experiencing homelessness warm at night, and save lives.

On October 29th , the HLC convened a meeting with community partners and public officials to issue an emergency call for help in identifying a location for a warming shelter in Bend.

After attending the meeting, Deschutes County commissioners reached out to Sheriff L. Shane Nelson and asked if a portion of the DCSO Work Center, located on the Public Safety Campus, could be utilized for this emergency need.

The Sheriff’s Office conducted a review of facility operations and, in partnership with the commissioners, has identified a section of the Work Center building that will meet this year’s needs for an emergency shelter location in Bend.

The DCSO Work Center, once used as a home to the Bethlehem Inn, will be made available to shelter up to 48 men and women. Although this does not meet the identified need of 100 shelter beds, it makes a huge impact on sheltering those without anywhere else to go, the HLC said.

Sheriff Nelson said, “We are happy to step up and fill this critical void in our community. We understand the importance of having an emergency warming shelter and it worked out to be the right time where we could help.”

The shelter will operate with support from the HLC, NeighborImpact and service providers. The location will be solely run by a service provider identified by the HLC and in close coordination with the HLC shelter committee, and be completely separate from the DCSO in all its operations.

With funding provided to Oregon Housing Community Services by the Oregon Legislature, the HLC is working with the Sheriff’s Office and Deschutes County to ensure the appropriate measures are being taken to provide safety and security for all shelter guests.

HLC will be utilizing paid staff hired by NeighborImpact, and will soon have a call-out for volunteers to help provide meals and serve as hosts for evening shifts.

Efforts are underway to tentatively open the shelter by mid-December or as soon as possible before the cold of winter deepens. HLC plans, at this point, to be open every night through mid-March.

The HLC would like to thank the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Deschutes County commissioners for collaborating and making it possible to meet the need of sheltering our community’s most vulnerable this winter season.

In addition, under the city of Bend's emergency winter declaration, the Bethlehem Inn, which completed a major expansion project this year, has been approved to add more beds in its lobby when temperatures fall below freezing overnight.

Bend / Central Oregon / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



      1. YUP! TioZo seems like a kind person . . . But, he’s really a true Blue dyed in the wool Liberal. He’ll support spending millions to help people, whether they want the help or not, as long as it doesn’t cost or effect him.

        BTW, some of the Bend homeless are now showing up on the coast, where it’s warmer . . . just have to deal with the constant rain. So we’re helping alleviate some of your Bend homeless population.

  1. Just break the law and get free meals and housing while you are in jail. The inmates sleep till noon and sit around and watch TV when they aren’t eating. Tough gig.

    1. actually the inmates are up before 7am for head count and breakfast, the ones with jobs on the morning shift are up before 5am. for the most part the only inmates in there without a job are awaiting sentencing and not allowed to have one

  2. it will help but the county needs to find a better solution, there’s a lot of homeless who would rather freeze and starve than to flop with a cop. any of the homeless went through the slave center when it was operating wouldn’t go near there unless they have to check in with a P.O., most the guards there were absolutely rotten excuses for human beings

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