The City of Bend has deemed the Hunnell Road are on the north end of the city an “unsafe campsite.” The designation came in a release on Wednesday.
The city says the designation will begin an outreach process to support those living in the area. Ultimately, it will result in clearing of the camps this coming March.
The city said it executed an assessment between August and November of this year. During that time, police handled 218 calls which resulted in 43 criminal cases and 33 arrests.
“We’ve been shot at twice already since I’ve been here and I’ve only been here three months,” said Stacey Ray as she described the dangers of living on Hunnell.
She also mentioned people showing up at night to deal and take drugs. She is supportive of the city’s effort to clear the road.
“If they had to move, it might be better for them because then they would have to do something different. Right here just gives them access to do whatever they want, and they’re untamed,” said Ray.
Even without the drugs and violence, people would have had to move by March for the Bend North Corridor Project, which will expand Hunnell Road.
“There’s going to be heavy duty construction equipment going through here and that’s not going to be a good environment for anyone,” said Cheyenne Purrington, the director of the Coordinated Houseless Response Office.
Instead of forcing the unhoused to move without help, the city and the county will utilize the “Encampment Resolution Pilot Program.”
“It’s really conducting needs assessments for the individuals living there, providing supports as they go through these transitions and ensuring that there is strong coordination across all of the partners and nonprofits, local government agencies who are involved, so that we can have one cohesive plan,” said Purrington.
While they will be moved, they will also be offered support. Ray told us providing drug-addiction resources would help.
“I think that they should offer rehab to most of these guys because some of the people have told me that they would rehab,” said Ray.
When we followed the city’s code enforcement team earlier this month for a story, they found fentanyl in an abandoned tent.
There are around 65 campsites in the area, according to the city.