The City of Bend has received millions of dollars in grants to help the houseless community.
Multiple projects are in the works, but one could make a big impact soon.
“In some cases people have established almost permanent dwellings and those are where we are starting to have issues with a removal concept,” said Peter Murphy, a spokesman with the Oregon Department of Transportation.
ODOT posted signs recently warning campers near the Revere Avenue/Parkway ramps.
The agency is cleaning up the area next week.
Murphy also says they’re working with other organizations to help those displaced.
“We have Veterans Outreach, Shepherd’s House, the city, county,” said Murphy. “I mean there is a lot people who are focusing attention on what to do here. It really does takes a community to effort to figure out of a community solution is and we are partnering closely with these other agencies.”
But Shepherd’s House and COVO say they are not involved in any relocation efforts, and Murphy says ODOT’s work begins and ends with operating the highway.
“It is not OK as a community to kick someone out of the area and not have a bed for them, a place for them to go,” said Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins. “That is why we are working so hard right now. The city is working at a frantic pace right now to see how fast we can provide these beds.”
Perkins says the city received several funds to help address the unhoused population.
“We have a $2 million dollar funding that’s coming in from Representative (Jason) Kropf’s legislative allotment, which will provide a year around low-barrier shelter,” Perkins said.
That would replace the cold-weather warming shelter near Bi-Mart.
“We’re trying to find as many properties as we can that would fit the bill,” said Perkins. “The current warming shelter which just closed in late March is an opportunity to be a year-round situation.”
The city expects to release more details on the project soon.