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Shepherd’s House responds to reports of inappropriate homeless behavior near emergency shelter

'We draw pretty bright lines for our folks who come to us for service'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Employees at businesses near the Shepherd's House emergency shelter in northeast Bend are speaking out about inappropriate behavior by homeless people gathering in the area. The shelter's director of development said he's aware of the issue and is actively addressing it.

Shepherd's House opened its emergency shelter in on Second Street in Bend last November. In June, it became a year-round overnight safe haven for the homeless community.

It's a low-barrier shelter, meaning it does not exclude anyone based on anything except the present ability to cooperate in keeping the shelter safe, peaceful and restful. It’s the only one that exists in the area.

"We feel like what we're doing, the work we're doing is super-important,” David Notari, the director of development for Shepherd’s House, told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday. “But not to the detriment of local businesses who are trying to survive."

Right next door, there's a Bi-Mart and the Great American Furniture Warehouse. NewsChannel 21 spoke with some workers from both places, who wished to remain anonymous.

They said homeless people are constantly seen using drugs out in the open, and treating the side of building like it's a bathroom.

Notari says he's also been made aware of several instances of theft at Bi-Mart. And e said that's unacceptable.

“We draw pretty bright lines for our folks who come to us for service,” Notari said. “So we will have regular conversations with them, explaining the issues that are going on and letting them know that if they do cross over those lines that they are going to be removed from the shelter."

Notari said they've kicked people out in the past. However, because they try to set a strict policy of not condoning criminal behavior at the emergency shelter, Notari said his clients are usually not the ones responsible.

“For the most part, we really feel like the folks who do come to us are not participating in that,” Notari said. “Again, there's people outside of that that do enter into that kind of behavior."

Notari admitted this is an ongoing issue, but it's one he will continue to address seriously with each person who walks through the shelter's doors.

Notari added that Shepherd's House has a good relationship with neighboring businesses like Bi-Mart and the Great American Furniture Warehouse. “That does not mean there are not bumps in the road,” Notari said, explaining he will work hard to keep those communication lines open.

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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

Comments

38 Comments

  1. I feel bad for bimart and great american, they made real estate decisions that were totally reasonable 30 or 40 years ago but now times have changed and they are stuck anchoring the worst block in the entire county, through no fault of their own

    The real question is how do we build lower midtown back better, is it possible to revitalize that area without getting rid of the normal stores that normal people shop at (and we still need)- I was downtown last friday afternoon when i realized that i couldnt think of anywhere downtown to buy a snickers bar anymore even though thats all i wanted, will bend still have places to buy futons and snickers bars anymore or will it all just be gated perfection communities and terror camps of rootless loveless wood woses, like some kind of scifi movie

      1. anonymousktvz has a point. Downtown is no place to buy a double-A battery, a foil roasting pan, a bottle of Gatorade, small bag of nuts, ballpoint pens, printer paper, lipstick, sunscreen, minipads, or any of the miscellaneous items that one frequently needs. The rent for retail space is too high. I think we should all blame Barney for this.

    1. Bimart messed up when they didn’t take the opportunity of moving into shopco. Yes it was their fault for not moving when they had the chance. Bimart has been battling with the clientele from that building even when it was the opportunity center.

      1. That would have been a brilliant move right? Spend a ton of money to relocate your store that is located right next to a shelter, so that the new one can be right across the street from the other shelter in town. Brilliant plan nonya

    2. In regards to Bi-mart and Great American Furniture… Business have a 1-2 year trial period to approve a shelter being in place, so in a sense it was up to them to help decide if Shepard’s house should go there. However that decision was likely made years ago when the homeless problem wasn’t as big as it is now. Our town and city council are more to blame for enabling as much as they have.

    3. You should complain to the over priced boutiques who bought up the mom and pops that used to be there. What does your quest for a Snickers have to do with homeless transitional housing facility on second? SMH

  2. Gotta keep those lines bright, but we all know there’s some individuals who take advantage of the shelter. Are they requiring them to 🐝 vaccinated there?

  3. Of course, the management of the homeless shelter is going to downplay the issue. Unfortunately, there appears to be little to no work being done by homeless advocates/city officials to identify and separate the homeless who are willing to work to get out of their current situation from those who are simply low level grifters who chose not to be functioning members of society. Suspect bi-met would move locations if they could, but increased amount of items “walking away” since the arrival of the homeless center probably cuts into the company’s ability to make such a move. And the city wants to put a homeless center next to an elementary school.,,

  4. If this is what we have with a “managed” shelter, why would one think that a “managed” camp would be any different? Next to a school is certainly not a place to experiment with that.

    1. This is what their excuse is, we manage all the people who come thru our doors. The problem isn’t the ones inside.. its the ones on the sidewalk and panhandling and trying to come into bimart for the restrooms. Marry that with the adult book store down the street and the reason I don’t shop at BiMart or American Furniture.
      Same excuse will be used at the managed camp…. All who are inside the gates are managed. But they will have a blind eye to all the ones outside the gate.

  5. So, Does anyone think it will be any different at the so called “Managed” camp next to the schools in Bend? A boon for the elicit drug “super store” dealers. Drugs and kids and homeless addicts all in one location. Perfect!

  6. This is a preview of the ‘Managed’ homeless camps the city council is pushing for. This native Oregonian left the valley in the 90’s only to witness the homeless encroachment a 2nd time, now in Bend….. And the council wants more.

    1. Exactly.there will only a handful of these people who are willing to sign a contract so they can stay in these good ship lollipop happy camps and the rest will refuse because they live by their own rules. So my question is where will the majority who refused to sign contracts continue to live on public lands and in neighborhoods. So if they break their contract they don’t get to stay a good ship lollipop camp. Poor things they’ll just go back to the public lands and continue to do their drugs and other things like Trashing the areas where they live and vandalizing is andalizing homes Or businesses near their camps.

    1. What’s the point of any suggesttions. The socialist city council out of state transplants have already made up their mind they are going to do build these camp. which will ultimately fail. As they have in Seattle. San Francisco and Los Angeles. They know this. but despite this, they will still build and they don’t care What suggestions we may have as an alternative. Oh they say they would like our suggestions but it will only fall on death ears.
      .

  7. A slowdown of local law enforcement in Bend is making this kind of predictable and ongoing behavior more and more un-responded to (i.e. urinating in public citations / vandalism / theft citations) – and the below article makes this very clear.

    The city council / mayor need to meet with Chief Krantz and Sheriff Nelson for some straightforward discussions as to what it will take to see officers begin to self-initiate their activities…and to put pressure on the outgoing DA to honor the citations / arrests made sans his personal “social justice” proclivities.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/when-police-slow-down-central-oregon-crime-rate-stats-walker/?published=t&trackingId=Pc6G2V%2BJRLuy5w7MZxMyVg%3D%3D

  8. Despite demonstrated behavior, the city of bend thinks their managed camp won’t have these same issues. Good thing they want to put it by a couple of schools so our kids recieve a proper education. Foreshadowing……

  9. Oh great… More fuel to the fire for the homeless camp nimbyists in town.

    How often does this happen in and around the existing trans housing facility? Is this just a recent pattern or is it persistent? What is Shepard’s House actively doing to address it other than talking with their clients about it?

  10. I’d like to see a law suit filed for the handicap stating that the sidewalks were blocked and a handicap person couldn’t get by. Maybe if it was large enough, laws allowing homeless access to all public land would be changed

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