A plot of land on 27th street and Bear Creek Road could turn into a homeless shelter.
Bend City Council approved the first phase of the proposal Wednesday night.
“Phase one included community outreach and engagement,” said Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins. “It is also when a site for the outdoor shelter will be secured and when the operator will refine the outdoor shelter design and operating procedures with community input.”
Around a half a dozen community members addressed concerns over the proposed shelter.
“We are concerned out neighborhood is being used as a test model,” said a Larkspur neighborhood resident. “Please keep these shelters out of our neighborhoods until our safety and that of our of our family can be assured.”
The shelter would consist of up to 20 small homes runs by Central Oregon Villages, overseen by the non-profit’s president and former Bend Chief of police Jim Porter.
“This is a rare opportunity we are given to establish the first one of Bend and we want it to look nice, we want it to look like it fits in the neighborhood,” said Porter. “We don’t want trash around, we don’t gatherings of bicycles. It is going to have its own storage locker. We just have to get this right, which means keeping it clean, picked up and livable, so the neighbors don’t drive by and say look at the eyesore in our neighborhood.”
▶️ More small homeless units arrive, but there is no place to put them
The proposed shelter prioritizes entry for women and children, but if units are not filled completely, it could house a broader variety of people.
Entry requirements for shelter clients will include no drugs or alcohol, participation in case management; and maintaining the outdoor shelter.
“Our goal is to help participants build skills and knowledge to help them move into a life with stability, health and community,” said Executive Director for Central Oregon Villages, Nicky Meritt.
The shelter proposal would include portable toilets and water stations, a mobile shower truck and daily food services.
City council now moves to phase two. Specifics of the shelter design and program operations with an estimated cost of $300,000.
The council also approved the “Stevens Road Tract Concept Plan.”
A project that aims to create a new community development on the East side of Bend with thousands of new housing units, new commercial and employment areas, public parks and trails, and multi-modal transportation systems.
Council also approved the second reading for the Shelter Code Updates.