The City of Bend is eyeing a current rock-crushing site in Juniper Ridge as the potential location for a temporary transitional homeless shelter.
The potential location is also further north of Cooley Road, which would provide separation between the site and neighbors south of Juniper Ridge, according to a release from the city on Thursday.
The city owns 1,500 acres of land in the northern part of Bend off of Cooley Road.
At a city council meeting in late October rer, officials proposed turning six of those acres into a temporary transitional shelter site, where homeless individuals and families could safely camp this winter.
The plan would be implemented in three phases.
- Phase one would create a transitional shelter site where people could set up RVs and tents.
- Phase two would come next year and create a more established campground.
- Phase three would construct longer-term housing.
Evaluation of the feasibility of the temporary site is in the preliminary stages.
City staff is currently working with social services professionals to create strategies for things like service provision, case management, on-site sanitation, property management, public safety and other items related to proper management of the proposed temporary site.
“We are fortunate to work with medical and social services professionals with subject matter expertise in serving our homeless community,” said City Economic Development Director Carolyn Eagan. “It will take all of us working together with the neighboring residents and business owners to build a safe, accessible temporary shelter site that supports the individuals and families who will temporarily call it home.”
The city is focusing on a parcel in Juniper Ridge currently being used as a rock-crushing site for the North Interceptor Sewer Line Project.
As that rock-crushing operation moves further north in early 2021, it will leave behind a cleared, graded site.
The availability of a cleared and graded site will save time and significantly reduce the cost of developing the temporary transitional shelter site, the city said.
During the plan development, there will be opportunities for community members to learn more and provide input through online meetings.
These online meetings will provide neighbors, social services providers and other stakeholders a chance to be involved as the feasibility for this proposed site is evaluated.
The online meetings will be in early December and the City will release the date, time and links to the online meetings when that information is available.
A temporary transitional shelter site at Juniper Ridge is one of many short-term solutions to help address homelessness in Bend.
To learn more about other temporary transitional shelter sites or to apply to establish a shelter site, visit the Temporary Transitional Shelter Sites page.
Mid- and long-term solutions, like extending winter warming shelters for more months or building additional affordable housing units, are also necessary to support community members as they transition out of homelessness and into stable housing.
To learn more about the continuum of housing needed in Bend, visit the Emergency Homelessness Task Force page.