(Correction: The County or the Coordinated Houseless Response Office would hire the service provider, not the City.)
Deschutes County gave its approval for a new “supported” homeless camp to operate in southern Bend off of Highway 97 this week. It will be on a triangle of land just south of the Les Schwab Tire Center located next to the Murphy Road and Highway 97 roundabout.
On Wednesday, we got a much clearer idea of what the camp may look like and how it could operate. The City of Bend provided a copy of the plan from the Coordinated Houseless Response Office, which the county approved. Now, it will be up to the Bend City Council to determine whether to go forward with the proposal on city property.
The “supported” part means that the County, the Coordinated Houseless Response Office or both will hire a nonprofit service provider to look after the unhoused in the camp. Who will be in charge of the operation has yet to be decided.
“We don’t have an operator, but an operator entity, Central Oregon Villages, showed up at our meeting the other day with one of their board members,” Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone said. “They said they’re gonna talk about it tomorrow. So we don’t have an operator yet.”
RELATED: ‘Supported’ homeless camp in south Bend location approved
Commissioner Phil Chang says the site will likely be a “low barrier” site as opposed to a “high barrier” site.
“A high barrier shelter is where people are already clean and completely sober, and need a place to continue along that pathway. Low barrier shelters take people where they are, and help them get to the place where they are clean and sober,” Chang said.
He added that “low barrier” does not mean that people are allowed to do whatever they want. And there will be rules against drug usage within the shelter.
The camp will be fenced off and will have gates, along with road access for emergency and other vehicles.
It will provide limited basic needs including:
- Clean drinking water
- Portable restrooms
- Hand washing stations
- Waste disposal containers
- Stations to charge medical devices
There will be connections to services including medical and dental health; behavioral health; employment and income; case management; money management and budgeting; and housing search and placement.
The program model claims this will lead to reduced crime, sanitation problems and neighbor complaints.
A map created by the Coordinated Houseless Response Office and provided to Central Oregon Daily News by the City shows the layout of how the camp will be situated.
- 20 spaces for RV or travel trailers
- 10 spaces for tents
- Eight portable restrooms
- Four waste disposal stations
- Temporary parking spaces for mobile services
The entrance will be located on the northeast corner of the camp, coming off the south entrance to the Les Schwab parking lot.
The camp operator will be responsible for acquiring insurance for the property, liability and more. It will also have to set-up and manage the basic needs amenities. The operator must also respond to emergencies and community concerns.
You can see the full proposal at here.South Bend supported homeless camp proposal