On Monday and Wednesday night, Bend Neighborhood Association and Bend Cares are holding a public hearing regarding homelessness in the community with guest speakers from Deschutes County, Bend City Council, and Bend Police.
“I’m really looking forward to hearing; what are your concerns? What are your questions?” said Megan Perkins, Bend City Councilor.
This week, members of the community can learn more about homelessness in the area and voice their opinions on proposed solutions.
“I get emails on it almost every hour,” said Patti Adair, Deschutes County Commissioner, about the inquiries she gets regarding homeless issues.
“The nice thing about this panel is you’ll be able to get the comprehensive view of what is going on with our houseless community,” Perkins said.
City Councilor Megan Perkins and Deschutes County Commissioner Patti Adair make up half of the panel, which includes Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz and Helping Hands Re-Entry CEO Alan Evans.
“Really, we want people to be able to transition back into society but with maybe a gentler hand, and for those that truly need more help; they’re not getting it,” Adair said.
The town hall was originally set to focus on changing shelter codes.
However, broader topics will take the stage, with an expected crowd of 200 people.
“I think it has expanded beyond that a little bit, but yes, the shelter codes have garnished so much interest from the community and there’s so many questions about what they mean,” Perkins said.
This is the first of two town halls, with a second scheduled for Wednesday at 5:15PM in the auditorium of Caldera High School.
“This will be a really nice preview for us before we have our public hearing on May 4th,” Perkins said.
Each speaker will explain how the new shelter codes, and other potential solutions, will impact the community.
Community members are encouraged to attend the event and participate in a Q & A asking panelists their thoughts on different aspects of the homeless crisis.