▶️ Parents concerned over proposed homeless camp site; protest planned Tuesday


A homeless camp proposal site in Bend has turned moms into protesters.

Parents and neighbors are taking things into their own hands to get the attention of Bend City Council.

“We need to make a physical presence,” said Bear Creek Parent Julie Connell. “It feels too critical, not to show up.”

Connell and Jill Leonard have kids that go to Bear Creek Elementary, which is a school located next to a possible homeless camp site, proposed by Bend City Council.

▶️ Bend, Deschutes Co. leaders weigh opposition to 9th St. homeless camp plan

“We feel that we have written letters and we’ve attended the Bend City Council meetings, virtually, but now they can actually see all the people that are outraged and I understand this is a proposal, but take this land site off that list,” Leonard said.

A protest is planned for Tuesday at Bend City Hall at 4:30 p.m.

“We want City Hall to see and feel us and know that we are in strong opposition to this proposed, managed homeless camp, boarding both Bear Creek and Bend High,” Connell added.

More than 100 Bend Senior High and Bear Creek Elementary teachers submitted a letter to the council this month, asking them to reconsider the location.

Parents and teachers aren’t the only ones upset, so are those living in the area.

“I feel like the councilors, even the mayor herself, need to come to our neighborhood,” said Michael Lafey. “Come to northeast Burnside and talk to the houses on the street, knock on our doors, talk to us personally. It’s going to affect us in all different types of ways.”

Councilor Megan Perkins says City Council is trying to balance listening to those opposed to a managed camp on 9th street, with the increasing population of homeless and their needs.

“We don’t know yet what this camp would look like, we don’t even know if service providers think it’s possible,” said Perkins. “I would just urge people to just really let us go through the process and see what is actually possible in that location — if anything is possible in that location.”


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