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Bend City Council may OK $3.9 million ‘navigation center’ contract with Shepherd’s House

(Update: Adding video, comments from city representative, Shepherd's House)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend City Council is set to review a three-year, $3.9 million contract with Shepherd's House Ministries to operate a daytime, multi-service navigation center at the NE Second Street location where they currently run a nighttime warming shelter.

“In the daytime, a lot of people don’t know where to go, where they’re welcome,” John Lodise, director of emergency services for Shepherd's House, said Friday. 

The center would provide several services for people during the day. 

“There isn’t going to be the need for people to go back out on the streets and run into the same problems over again.” Lodise said. 

Amy Fraley, the city's affordable housing coordinator, emphasized the goal.

“People will be able to come to a single location, get those services and meet with those people from the community providing those services,” Fraley said.  

Next Wednesday evening, councilors are expected to approve the three year, $3.9 million improvement plan for the center, with $2.5 million provided by the state under legislation that expires June 30.

Shepherd's House was the only group that responded to the city's formal request, because they were the only group that already had the space.

Fraley said the center will provide a variety of services for the homeless, including:

• Referrals and support to address addiction
• Assistance acquiring identification cards, Social Security Income, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, Veterans Benefits, DD214 documents, birth certificates, unemployment or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and Oregon Trail benefits.
• Employment support, job skills development, and education resources
• Aid in applying for housing, housing assistance, and overcoming barriers to
permanent housing
• Trauma-informed peer to peer counseling
• Daily meals

“But we will need to begin providing navigation services by June 30 or we have to return the funds,” Fraley said. 

In the meantime, the shelter will keep its 100 overnight beds, and also add meeting rooms, kitchens, showers, and other physical changes, while continuing community and homeless outreach.

“Talking with their current clients to see what they believe they need to move out of homelessness and into stable housing,” Fraley said. 

All the service providers in the area will be able to meet those in need at the navigation center, and Lodise thinks that can be life-changing.

 “I think we’re going to see a lot more progress toward people meeting goals that are healthy for them, and that will really give them positive lives,” Lodise said. 

The proposed contract includes two possible two-year extensions for the center, totaling seven years. 

 However, both Shepherd's House and the City of Bend could cancel the contract at any time.

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

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