▶️ Homeless living on Emerson Avenue preparing for camp clear out

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Tuesday several homeless advocates in Bend helped people camping on Emerson Avenue clean-up and get ready to move.

Large living structures like tents are still there, but by Wednesday the area will be cleaned out.

“Right now, everyone is here to help us out because tomorrow we are leaving,” said Timothy Garside.

Garside says he has been living on Emerson Avenue since winter.

Now he must find a new home, and he’s not going far.

“Pretty much just down the street,” Garside said.

He knows that is not the case for everyone else.

“I think he has no place to go, and he is kind of scared,” he said about at least one other person living on Emerson.

The City of Bend gave notice the week of June 7, that people living in the area would need to vacate by Wednesday.

Final eviction notices posted for homeless campers at 2nd & Emerson

“It’s an unsafe situation to have someone camping on the street when we have large vehicles, delivery trucks, you know it is a large industrial area back there, where we can have folks sleeping a foot, inches from the traveling public,” said Bend Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore.

Several homeless outreach advocates like the Homeless Leadership Coalition and REACH were helping the campers get ready for the big move.

At its peak, Emerson was home to between 40 and 50 people.

“That’s our goal today, really to offer, you know, do you need assistance packing up, do you need a tent, a tarp, or a cart to help you get to the next place,” said Executive Director of REACH Stacey Witte.

“Making sure that folks are staying in touch with their service providers and advocates, so they can make sure that wherever they go next that we know where they are at and they feel supported in whatever next step is for them, said Homeless Services
Coordinator for Deschutes County Colleen Thomas.

One option for that next step is a recently-opened low-barrier shelter operated by Shepherd’s House Ministries.

“I think that is an incredibly safe and helpful option for folks,” said Shepherd’s House Ministries Project Share Coordinator Evan Hendrix. “Reality is, not everybody is going to consider that as an option, but I think it’s really convenient that it’s just up the street and that is accessible year-around, every night.”

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