Next Monday, July 17, homeless people living in tents and RVs along Hunnell Road on Bend’s north end will be forced to vacate the premises.
The City of Bend plans to close Hunnell, Loco and Clausen roads and clean up debris left by homeless living in the area.
Thereafter, the city’s “time, place and manner” camping code will be enforced.
“In the next week, I’m going to continue with my life the way it is. I don’t plan to move. I have no intentions of moving,” said Smokey, a man who has lived on Hunnell Road in a trailer for several years. “The cops are going to have to make a real statement because they’ll have to shoot me. I’m not going anywhere. They’ll have to kill someone to take this road.”
On June 23, Bend city staff distributed informational flyers to homeless people in the Hunnell Road area. They included details on the planned closure and clean up and information about resources people can avail themselves of.
On July 3, code enforcement and right-of-way staff posted two week notifications to remind people of the July 17 deadline and the need to leave.
Final notices to vacate the area will be posted on or around Thursday.
“They are telling me you’ve got to go. Where am I going to go? I’ve got nowhere to go. No family,” said Shadow.
If she were are able to move and forced to move, does Shadow have a plan?
“No,” she replied.
If campers leave the area as directed on July 17, contractors will start cleaning Hunnell Road the morning of July 18.
The clean up will continue east onto Loco Road and north up Clausen Road and could take four to six days, depending on how many people remain after the July 17 closure goes into effect.
Smokey blamed the homeless problem on the city for “failing to put rent controls in place and building low income housing,” adding that “the city needs to get off the homeless’ back and take responsibility for its actions.”
As for where they’ll move next, no one we spoke with had a straight answer. But there are clearly fewer camps in the area than the last time we visited.