By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
The second of three notices to vacate Juniper Ridge has been delivered to homeless people camped on the city-owned property on Bend’s north end.
And it appears to be working. Campers are leaving the area so that a major sewer line construction project can get underway.
The City of Bend began issuing notices in February to homeless people camped on Juniper Ridge to vacate the 1,500-acre property.
Back then, there were 55 campsites. Today, the number is down to 17 with one week to go before blasting and heavy excavation begins on the city’s north sewer interceptor.
“I’m actually in the process of moving farther north for now and then I’m moving to Eugene,” said Rebecca, a homeless person camping on Juniper Ridge. “A friend of mine offered to let me move in with her.”
Rebecca says she lived in her car on Juniper Ridge until it was impounded due to expired tags. She lived with friends for a while and by herself in a tent.
“As of yesterday, we are down to 17 campsites. The majority of folks have already moved off the construction zone,” said Jaime Gomez Beltran, City of Bend Property Manager. “Now we are ramping up our efforts to see what else we can do. What are those last-minute needs?
City Property manager Jamie Gomez Beltran and Bend Police Officer Kecia Weaver have had nearly daily contact with all the homeless people on Juniper Ridge the past four months.
They’ve provided storage for campers’ belongings, set up Dumpsters where people can dispose of trash and given referrals to social service agencies.
“We’ve had a lot of interactions with most of the individuals out here to make sure they understand the timelines and what to expect,” Weaver said. “A lot of people have left the area. We are working to try to encourage the rest of the folks to move out before any of the deadlines take place.”
24 hour notices to vacate Juniper Ridge will be issued June 15 and 16.
A total closure of the site for all but construction workers begins Monday, June 22.
Anyone who lingers will be cited for trespassing.