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City of Bend approves Central Oregon Veterans Village emergency shelter

veterans village
KTVZ

(Update: More info from Tobiason)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The City of Bend has approved the emergency shelter siting application for the Veterans Village project, the Bend Heroes Foundation said Monday.

This emergency shelter is made possible by the Legislature's adoption last May of House Bill 4212, which “requires local governments to allow siting of qualifying emergency shelters by qualifying entities notwithstanding land use laws” (1).

The site, located on the north end of Bend, will be located on Deschutes County-owned land, near the sheriff's office, but required the City of Bend approval, as the site is within city limits.

Deschutes County has committed to a 10-year lease of the land to Veterans Village for the purpose of housing homeless veterans.

Bend Heroes Foundation was the applicant, and Central Oregon Veterans Outreach was listed as the future operator of the shelter.

Bend Affordable Housing Manager Lynne McConnell said the conditional approval was granted Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), subject to building permits, which will ensure that health and safety requirements are met. City Manager Eric King approved the project and one planned on a comparable site in southeast Bend, owned by St. Vincent de Paul.

For more information about the Central Oregon Veterans Village, contact Erik Tobiason at 541-678-0662.

About Veterans Village
The Bend Heroes Foundation (BHF) and Central Oregon Veterans Outreach (COVO) are developing a pilot program for addressing homelessness for veterans in Central Oregon. Central Oregon Veterans Village is envisioned as a public-private partnership with the City of Bend, Deschutes County and the private/nonprofit sectors.

The Veterans Village will initially consist of 15 shelters and a community building. Services and shelter will be provided for residents for stays of up to two years, while residents transition into permanent housing.

The Village will be staffed by full-time case managers and administered by a board of oversight. COVO anticipates transitioning 15-20 veterans experiencing homelessness to permanent housing within the first year of
operation.

Tobiason said they received one of the two permits needed, a site improvement plan that lets them break ground and begin gravding and putting in gravel pads. The other, for the shelters' design, will be submitted on Dec. 15, after the city's new permit center goes online.

"We hope to be operational in January," he said.

About Bend Heroes Foundation
Bend Heroes Foundation is organized for the primary purpose of honoring Central Oregon's military veterans, first responders, and other heroes. The Bend Heroes Foundation is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Tax ID 27-207-1808

1 https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020S1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4212/Introduced

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