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City of Bend, NeighborImpact announce year-round, ‘low-barrier’ homeless shelter

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Bend and NeighborImpact announced Monday they have partnered to fund the reopening of last winter's warming shelter as a year-round low-barrier shelter for unhoused community members.

The Shepherd’s House Ministries will operate the 70-bed shelter, located at 275 NE Second Street. The shelter will open on Tuesday, June 1, and will run seven days a week from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Case management and supportive services will be provided by the Project S.H.A.R.E. Program of Shepherd’s House and several other agencies to ensure collaboration and continuity of services for guests at the shelter.

"A low-barrier shelter does not exclude persons based on anything except the present ability to cooperate in keeping the shelter safe, peaceful and restful," said the announcement, which continues in full below:

“Having a low-barrier shelter in Bend is an important step towards our Council goal to find 500 beds for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” said Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins. “This public-private partnership is a key investment and can serve as a model for our actions going forward.”

The city and NeighborImpact are funding the shelter by combining dedicated state and federal funds each organization has received for these specific types of services. Each agency will contribute at least $300,000 from federal COVID-19 relief funds received last year, which will provide about six to nine months of initial funding.

The Emergency Homelessness Task Force, a joint endeavor between the city and Deschutes County to respond to homelessness issues, will explore options for long-term funding to support the shelter’s operations year-round.

Low-barrier shelters provide unhoused community members with a safer option than living on the street or in other public right-of-ways, and are an important piece of the continuum of services that can help people find permanent shelter and housing, the partnership said.

Homelessness in Central Oregon and Council Goals

There are nearly 1,000 people who are experiencing homelessness in Central Oregon on any given night. This number includes families with children and youth who do not live with an adult. Learn more in Central Oregon Homelessness Facts & Figures.

To help address issues related to homelessness, the Bend City Council has adopted a strategy to “Invest in programs and partnerships that result in collaborative, concrete actions toward ending homelessness in Bend,” as part of its 2021-2023 Council Goals. That strategy includes creating a five-year Action Plan, exploring and increasing funding sources, and expanding options for temporary or permanent housing.   

Supporting Homelessness Solutions

The City of Bend is working with public agencies and community partners to support solutions for houselessness in the Bend community. This includes finding ways to keep people in their homes, provide temporary transitional housing and shelters, and increase the availability of affordable housing. Recently, the City Council adopted a Safe Parking Program to allow limited overnight parking in certain locations for people experiencing homelessness and updated the Bend Development Code to allow temporary housing (shelters) in some commercial zones in Bend.

The city is in the process of applying for a grant from the State-funded Project Turnkey to convert a motel into a shelter for people who are unhoused. The State legislature has approved $2.5 million in funding to open a navigation center in Bend to support unhoused community members. The Sounding Board to House Our Neighbors is working with City staff to make recommendations to update the Bend Development Code to allow for the development of different shelter types in certain zoning districts.

To learn more about what the city is doing, visit www.bendoregon.gov/homelessness.

For information on how you can support the organizations engaged in this effort, visit www.shepherdshouseministries.orgwww.reachoutcentraloregon.org or www.cohomeless.org.

KTVZ news sources

Comments

23 Comments

    1. Typical response. You have any clue how pointless your comment is when it doesn’t provide a solution to the problem. What’s your big plan to end homelessness, genius?

      1. The homeless issue needs to be handle on a national level and spread out across all states evenly. Otherwise, the homeless will only migrate to where the people in charge provide the most benefits while allowing them to live as they want without any discipline in their lives.

        The way it is now will cause more homeless to move to Bend, and no matter how many we house here, we will have even more homeless on the streets. This has already happened in PDX, Seattle, LA, SF, and now it is really ramping up in Bend.

        But do not get me wrong. It is disgusting that our government is more concerned with other issues while US citizens live on the street. These people need housing not only for their benefit but also for the benefit of the rest of us.

        The solution needs to happen in Washington D.C.; otherwise, places like Bend will pay for the lack of action in D.C. In fact, we already are.

        Those pushing to help the homeless need to keep doing so, but we need to focus a lot more energy on getting the federal government to do something meaningful. Those are not just tents, those are human beings. But for the grace of God, there goes me.

      1. States a person who exists with a cookie cutter belief that everyonewho is homeless is lazy with nothing to offer. This is why when I was homeless, my boss never found out. He was very clear on his views and relied on me, a homeless person, to keep his business running while he went on drug benders. But sure, homeless people are the horrible ones.

  1. Just drove up from the Bay Area passed thru a number of CA towns and viewed from I-5 not one homeless camp. As we passed thru K Falls same thing. Even the towns of Chemult and Crescent decimated by their dependency on the timber industry show no “camps”. Coming into La Pine you first notice the American and MIA flags and then how clean and the effort made to give a first good impression as you pass thru their main street and of course no bum camps. Next passed Sunriver the first thing you notice is the increased trash along the highway as you approach Bend. Then along the expressway you start to see the first homeless camp behind Fred Meyer at the Colorado on and off ramps much larger homeless structures that are almost large enough to qualify for a building inspection. Then the Revere off ramp, this one is growing by the day as word gets out they’ve almost reached autonomous status. Heading north passed Lowes you can make out to the east the increasing number of dilapidated RV’s lining 2 roads now. Coming into Redmond again you enter a town that is clean and takes pride in it’s city. Nice to be home.

    1. Bend will be the laughing stock of America soon. We’ll probably see more bums jumping the train here than the transplants and tourists combined! Very sad.

  2. I wish it was cut and dried, but it isn’t. I have an ex Brother in Law that suffered abuse as a child but managed to keep it together for 20 years after marring my sister. He had a terrible accident at work that left him in pain and out of a job. He slowly lost it and now is a homeless, severely mentally ill drug user. He taught his kids to hunt, fish, work hard, he provided very well for his family and was considered one of the best in his field. He was such a good man that our whole family still loves him, but there is nothing my family or his can do because he is so far gone mentally. I wish there was an answer but even a homeless shelter won’t help him and I’m sure he’s not the only one out there like him.

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