Deschutes County commissioners extend lease on Redmond Safe Parking Program site, OK adding 2 spaces
(Update: Adding video, comments from commissioners, site operator)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Deschutes County commissioners agreed Monday to extend the lease on a recently location for Redmond's Safe Parking Program for another year and allow an expansion to six RV spots.
The goal of the program is to provide a safe place for people living in RVs or vehicles.
Mountain View Community Development has experienced some setbacks in efforts to begin making use of the location, having seen some delays due to required insurance documents. The first person moved onto the site the first week of January.
The Safe Parking site is at Southeast Seventh Street and Evergreen Avenue. Commissioners also agreed to allow two more RV spots at the site, for a total of six.
Commissioners approved a lease for a safe parking site on county-owned property last fall. It was set for a 90-day trial.
Commissioners discussed at Wednesday's meeting whether to grant a one-year extension of that lease.
"There's support for a one-year extension and going from four to six spots," Commissioner Tony DeBone said, to support from colleagues Phil Chang and Patti Adair.
At the site, there are portable toilets, garbage service, and electrical power for solar or quiet generators. Officials said it helps to provide people living in an RV a safe and legal place to park. People who stay at the site are screened and approved for a 90-day stay.
Sierra Hopper, Safe Parking Program director with Mountain View Community Development staff, shared her feelings on the extension.
"We're really excited to be able to increase to a yearly (lease), as well as increase to six participants out there, six spots," Hopper said.
A case manager helps participants find more stable housing. Each parking site is provided with sanitation services and the operators enforce a strict drug-free policy.
"Another male has moved from Southwest Juniper Avenue near Highland," Hooper told commissioners. "That was the one near Subway. He has a full-time job, and has the entire time he's been homeless as well, and is working with case management and other local resources to secure stable housing."
A case manager also provides other necessary services needed, such as a helping to obtain a driver's license.
"It helps for those stories that we already have going," Hooper added. "We're really excited for it."
Adair said, "I appreciate the neighbors and what this program does, because we have a lot of people that really do want help -- and this program is incredibly helpful."