A Bend business owner arrived at work Monday to find a dozen shopping carts filled with trash, feces, and leftover food in front of her 2nd Street shop.
Bend Lock & Safe co-owner Mary Donnell believes it was no accident and suspects the nearby homeless population is to blame.
“It’s just an ongoing ordeal,” Donnell said. “Fiasco”
Bend Lock & Safe received a call from Bend Police on Sunday night that someone had plugged a 250 foot extension cord into the outlet of their business sign.
That outlet ran down 2nd Street to a group of tents and was ultimately unplugged, and Donnell assumes this is why the carts were left.
Donnell says she has not experienced an incident like this before, but homelessness has worsened near her business in the last two years.
“All the businesses in this area are tired of it and we need help from the City of Bend,” Donnell said. “You know we have pride in our neighborhood and have had for many many many years, and it’s slowly but surely being destroyed. We need assistance, so this needs to go away.”
In a December 15th Bend City Council meeting, the City Attorney’s office recommended beginning a public process in 2022 to develop code addressing unsanctioned camping in right-of-ways and public property.
“It will be a process that starts internally with city departments and is, in some formats, a public process,” Elizabeth Oshel, associate city attorney said. “We don’t know exactly what that will look like, but it will be a robust process.”
In the meantime, business owners like Donnell are paying the price.
“We pay property taxes and our property value is going down,” Donnell said. “Because who wants to come down here with all this riffraff?”
The carts were moved into a nearby alley by a bystander late Monday afternoon.