This meeting included nonprofit service providers, business and community groups and unhoused people were able to voice their concerns.
“A camping code that is doable and can lead to successful outcomes is necessary and can be a powerful tool,” said China Hat Road resident Linda Long.
Long has been homeless since April 2, 2020 after moving from Minnesota to Portland for a job to — ironically — work on the homeless situation there.
Shortly after she moved, the pandemic hit and she found herself homeless.
Long agrees a camping code should be implemented.
“We need to build into the camping code the solutions,” said Long.
However, she takes issue with the consequences the camping code could bring.
“Why are you going to give a $400 citation to someone who can’t afford breakfast?” asked Long.
Another consequence: those who have found a spot to camp being asked to leave and having to abandon their shelter or items they need to survive.
“That requires an enormous amount of energy, which most people living outside don’t have any extra of,” said Long.
The council addressed all questions, concerns and comments made at the roundtable.
Long said she hopes her voice has a positive impact.
“If we create a camping code that’s not just punitive, but also helps build a structure for helping people get out of houseless-ness, then you have a successful effort,” said Long.
The next Bend City Council meeting on the camping code will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5.