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Neighbors voice objections to new proposed homeless service location at Bend’s Juniper Ridge

(Update: Adding video, comment from councilor Perkins, Northpointe resident)

Bend, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A year after the city of Bend dropped plans for a managed homeless camp on the southern end of its Juniper Ridge property, a proposal to use the site to help the homeless is once again drawing ire from neighbors.

Laura Jasnick, who lives in the nearby Northpointe subdivision, told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday: “I do not see a logical reason for this to be so out of the way -- so out of the community’s eyesight.”

She added that she’s concerned with increase in homeless residents living at Juniper Ridge will come with an increase in loitering in the neighborhood.

“I’ve heard from neighbors that there was a lot of break-ins to vehicles, porch theft of packages and just general loitering in the neighborhood," Jasnick said.

The siteknown as Crusher Site No. 2, was used during construction of a city sewer project in the area and is about 300 yards northeast of the new Northpointe Park, now under construction.

“My biggest concern has to be my 7-year-old daughter, who plays and runs in that neighborhood,” Jasnick said.

City Councilor Megan Perkins said the original plan was to fast-track use of the Juniper Ridge site.

“But upon sort of further reflection, we realized it was really important for the public and the neighbors surrounding this land that we go through the request for proposals process,” she said.

The Juniper Ridge site is similar to the proposals on Ninth Street, or Murphy Road or Skyliner Summit Loop, but could include RV's.

The outdoor shelters would remain for one to three years, until the site can be developed with more permanent shelter or affordable housing.

“The RFP just closed last week, and they haven’t really had a chance to look at the proposals in much more depth,” Perkins said.

There’s still no timeline for when a site will be selected.

But Jasnick hopes the selection is not Juniper Ridge.

"Somewhere more in town, local where it can be managed and seen by the public," she said.

The city council meets Wednesday night, and while no decisions are expected, Councilor Perkins will give another of her regular updates on the city's various efforts to assist houseless residents, with another cold winter underway.

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.

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