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Central Oregon

City of Bend planning new solutions for Juniper Ridge homeless campers

First, a spot for RVs and tents; later, an RV park or campground

BEND, Ore (KTVZ) -- The City of Bend is once again tackling the issue of homeless campers on the city’s Juniper Ridge property.

Eulalie Lourenco's made her “retirement home” on the property.

"It's affordable and it's quiet, and I'm free here,” she told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday.

Lourenco has lived in a tent at Juniper Ridge since January.

She's one of about 100 to 125 people who call the undeveloped land on the city's north end home.

"It's peaceful, I like it. And there's not property taxes or insurance," she said.

She lives there by choice, because she said she can't afford a home in Bend.

"They want to look at your credit, and they want you to rent a room or lease a room,” Lourenco said. “I don't want that. I don't want to be bouncing around.”

Not everything is perfect, though. The train runs right through the area.

Bend Economic Development director Carolyn Eagan said, "One of the things that happened this summer is we had two incidents where our community members experiencing homelessness tried to cross the railway."

One of those incidents is where the Juniper Ridge Fire started back in mid-August, threatening homes and prompting evacuations.

The city of Bend wants to prepare the land for development.

"It is the city's industrial park,” Eagan said. “So we had always planned these 500 acres to serve as an employment center, for not just the city of Bend, but the whole region."

The city is exploring solutions for the homeless living at Juniper Ridge while the city constructs a sewer line to prepare the land for development.

The city is planning to invite them to a site just south of where they are living currently, near Cooley Road, at a temporary shelter area for RVs and tents that could last until next summer.

This isn't the first time campers have been asked to move. but now it could come potentially with working facilities.

"I think it would be great,” Lourenco said. “Especially if there are facilities. I stayed at a hotel, and I miss running water."

The location of the area will allow better access to Cooley road.

The city announced Thursday afternoon the site could be available for use this winter, and would be available for the next 12 to 24 months.

Here's the full news release:

City Task Force to Address Juniper Ridge Camping

Post Date:10/22/2020 2:43 PM

At its Oct. 21 City Council meeting, Bend City Council supported a staff plan to create an Emergency Homelessness Task Force and explore the possibility of developing a temporary transitional shelter site on City-owned property at Juniper Ridge. The task force will provide a means of collaboration for site design and camp management among City, County, nonprofit social services agency and neighborhood leaders.

A new temporary transitional shelter site would create a place for individuals and families in the community experiencing homelessness to camp. The site could include a gravel surface, safe access to adjacent streets, sanitation services and other utilities. It would also provide nonprofit social services agencies a place to connect community members to critical resources.

The City hopes to begin construction on the temporary site as soon as possible. The site could be available for use this winter, and would be available for the next 12 to 24 months.

This temporary site is the first phase of a plan to help address community concerns regarding the number of people experiencing homelessness in our community. The second phase of the plan would include the development of an RV park or campground sometime between the spring of 2021 and the spring of 2022. The timing for planning and developing phase two is dependent on State, County and City approvals.

The Emergency Homelessness Task Force will include homeless services professionals, health care providers and social service providers. It is expected to last for a 12-month term and provide service provision and budget recommendations to the City. 

A temporary transitional shelter site at Juniper Ridge is one of many short-term solutions to help address homelessness in Bend. Short-term and long-term solutions, like a permanent warming shelter or professionally managed camps, are also necessary to support community members as they transition out of homelessness and into stable housing. For examples of short-, medium- and long-term solutions, see the Council Work Session presentation from Oct. 21.

For more information on the task force and its work, visit the task force webpage.

Bend / Government-politics / News / Real Estate / Top Stories
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Jack Hirsh

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

Comments

26 Comments

  1. Again, why? Why should the taxpayers be on the hook to supply these bums with anything other then a boot in the butt? Will the cops patrol this area to protect the taxpayers investment? Will the medical – fire – rescue people be billing the bums for assitance like I get billed every year? I fail to understand why people feel entiteled to live here but not have to support here through legal means, as these bums are doing. What next, someone with a sack full of Obama phones to pass out as a consolation prize?

    1. The same reason taxpayers are suppose to pay for the healthcare of every illegal alien, as the democrats desire. They vote for democrats and it’s not their money with which they are buying said votes.

    1. This will always be my favorite way to deal with the homeless. Wait until the middle of winter when they’re half frozen and then just ask “hey there fella, how’d you like to go to LA?? Warm down there right now”. And then charter a few buses and drop them off down by skidrow. The costs associated are far less than what our community has to deal with every year. One time cost and they’re gone (hopefully) never to return again.

  2. Just got my tax bill which included my annual payment to Juniper Ridge. Remember back when we were told our taxpayer money would go to develop JR and it would include a school campus along with an industrial and business park. I remember the architects pretty drawings of future plans. But somehow I don’t recall the artists rendition of a homeless camp.

  3. Wow – what a GREAT place to “retire” on OUR dimes. Tell you what, MS Lourenco – you just BOUNCE yourself OUTTA HERE. You, “Mam” are a bum. You are a free loader. If you can’t afford to live here? Well just keep on bouncing… central Oregonians do NOT need you here taking advantage of what WE, as responsible people, create and provide and pay taxes on. Adios. Last I heard California is willing to pay your way – San Francisco OR Portland are calling your name.

  4. “Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.

    “Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

    “And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

    “They are. Still,” returned the gentleman, “I wish I could say they were not.”

    “The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.

    “Both very busy, sir.”

    “Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

    “Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude,” returned the gentleman, “a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink, and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?”

    “Nothing!” Scrooge replied.

    “You wish to be anonymous?”

    “I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned: they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there.”

    “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

    “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

    1. Thanks for the bedtime story boblablah. There were scarce jobs in those times and people were destitute NOT by choice. Hardly comparable to the grifters, vagrants and felons plucking the strings of your white guilted heart. I don’t need you city progressives misdirecting more resources to vagabond squatters. Don’t you dare suggest that I or other conservatives don’t care a wit about charity ya condescending shmuck. I’ll match my giving to needy causes to yours any day of the week even though none of your damn business.

  5. Portland caters to the homeless population and more homeless people come to Portland from all over the USA. When Bend advertises services more homeless people will show up from out of state to live there, too. I don’t have the answers but needy people will go where there are resources for them. If Bend wants to be a magnet like Portland is, then keep making it known there are resources and land available to move in on. People literally get bus, plane, train tickets to Portland and the first place they hit is TPI for a list of shelters, free tents, food resources and supplies.

  6. The more yo do for the homeless, the more you have to do for the homeless. Would be nice if the dealers feeding people meth and heroin were arrested and locked up when caught, instead of released on OR. If you soft peddle drug crimes everyday in CO, Franklin Ave will continue to look like mini version of MLK BLVD in Portland, a highway of junkies pushing shopping carts around looking for drugs. Homelessness is more about drug addiction than housing prices.

  7. How ironic…Eulalie Lourenco, interviewed in this story, just happens to be a retired realtor from California. Sorry folks, but if we surveyed the people “choosing” to live free of taxes and insurances in Juniper Ridge, I think we’d find the majority are from out of state. I for one, don’t want my property tax dollars spent to provide a FREE place for more out of state transplants to live here. I am a retired native Oregonian, and I barely make it each month. Property tax time is the toughest month of the year for me to survive, because my taxes cost almost two months of my income. It is ridiculous that these people get to chose to live here free of charge while those of us who’ve lived and worked here all or most of our lives are struggling to survive and pay our taxes and insurance. How many of these folks are also driving without car insurance as well. To be homeless by choice in one of most expensive areas of the country to live in, is just being irresponsible. And having the city force taxpayers to continue to fund their lifestyle is unacceptable. It makes me mad that the one person they chose to interview is not a struggling local family, but just another Californian who moved here for the views. I could easily get behind helping long time locals who’ve fallen on hard times, but not people like this.

  8. I feel bad for the people that are homeless and don’t want to be, but I don’t have any sympathy for the people that are homeless simply because they decided it was how they
    want to live… If a person doesn’t want to be a responsible, contributing member of society,
    and would rather sit around on their butt getting drunk and or doing drugs, then they
    shouldn’t receive assistance from the responsible citizens that work and pay taxes…

    I know that everyone has the right to live where they want to, and C.O is a great place
    to live, but it is also a very expensive place to live, and it’s difficult even for people
    that actually work for a living. So, common sense tells us that there are only two options available for the homeless that refuse to work. They can either depend on the tax payers to support them, which is what most of them are already doing, or move to a place that isn’t as expensive to live, get off their worthless butts,the drugs and booze, and get a job or two,
    and try to support themselves, but that’s not going to happen…

  9. Anyone want to look into a class action lawsuit? Any lawyers out there? This is insane that they are allowing use of the land that we as tax payers are paying for and to be used in a specific manor….which is for business development, No where in that bond…..ie a contract….that the city made with us and we voted for says it can be used for free housing and homeless camps. This is complete breach of contract. How about refunding us for our property taxes?

  10. ” Eulalie Lourenco’s made her “retirement home” on the property.
    It’s affordable and it’s quiet, and I’m free here,” she told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday.
    It’s peaceful, I like it. And there’s not property taxes or insurance,” she said ”

    I just skimmed the story quickly the first time I looked at it. Now I just finished reading the entire story and watched the video…
    This entitlement mentality is the biggest part of the problem with the homeless that choose this lifestyle, and on top of the entitlement, we also have the drugs, alcohol, and crime that go along with it.

    She likes it because she has no responsibility, and it doesn’t cost her anything.
    Well isn’t it nice that she is so special, that she has the option to be a non-contributing member of society, and expect others to provide for her. This pisses me off beyond belief, and the more I think about it, the madder I get…

    I’m 59 years old. I started working when I was 12 years old, and I worked my butt off
    working 60-80 hours a week until I retired four years ago. Like most people, I would have liked not having to pay mortgage payments, taxes, and utilities, but like most responsible
    people that work for a living, I did. Some of the taxes I payed were used for social services that were implemented to help people that truly need the help, and I never had
    a problem with it. However, my outlook on that changed when the Government decided that they would start using those funds to also help the illegal criminals living in our country,
    and on top of that, we have the homeless situation that will only continue to get worse…

    I guess nobody told her that if you aren’t financially situated, and if you don’t have enough money to support yourself, you are in no position to retire.
    She didn’t mention anything about going through hard times, or having medical or mental issues. She simply made the decision to let others pay for her so called retirement because
    she likes it here, and she knows that responsible people will pay to support her choice.
    This woman is an entitled, lazy, bum, and I’m sure most of the other people living there are the same way…

  11. “I think it would be great,” Lourenco said. “Especially if there are facilities. Lourenco said. “I don’t want that. ……….”

    Well Ms Lourenco, you chose not to be a productive member of our society yet you feel it would be ‘great’ if we pay for the things you would like to use. I ‘don’t want’ to pay for them

    1. I agree, I don’t want to pay for it anymore either… Much like the people that think welfare is a lifestyle, this should have been stopped years ago, but now it’s gone on for so long that these people expect it, and they have become more demanding. They aren’t stupid, they know that there are plenty of bleeding heart politicians, and other liberals that will stand up for them, so they can continue their chosen lifestyle…

      This woman didn’t even bother to put out the effort to lie, and try to make people think that she wants to change. She wants change, she wants nicer things, but she certainly doesn’t want to work so she can pay for it. She just automatically expects everyone else to pay for it for her, simply because it’s what she wants. I forgot, we can’t expect her to pay for it, she’s “retired”…

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