The community of Redmond gathered Thursday night to tackle a huge issue with a forum called “Let’s talk about Homelessness.”
“It’s a growing concern in our community. It’s a growing population in our community and we need to address it,” said Pastor Rick Russell.
Pews at Mountain View Fellowship Church were filled as the community came together to hear different panelists speak on the issue.
“Everybody wants to know how can we solve homelessness and that is not an easy thing,” Russell said. “It is going to take collaboration, a lot of working together. And so this to bring everybody in the possible paths moving forward.”
RELATED: Competing bills may change Oregon’s rent cap law
RELATED: ‘Thinking of moving’: Bend residents react to new quality of life survey
The panel Included those in the business realm and services from Deschutes County.
“My realm is here to support those that are being impacted by changes and decisions made in the community. We just need to really think about that continuum of services and how Deschutes County Behavioral Health can fit into that and support folks the best that we can,” said Homeless Outreach Services Supervisor with Deschutes County Behavioral Health Colleen Thomas.
It also included people within the school district, the city attorney and Redmond Police Chief Devin Lewis.
“I don’t really think it is a law enforcement problem. We obviously get called a lot to deal with the issues from homelessness, but I think it is more of a community problem which is going to take a community solution and since the Redmond police department is part of the community, I believe it is important to be a part of that conversation and hopefully a part of the solution,“ said Lewis.
After questions from the moderators, the public was encouraged to submit questions to help further explore and understand how the community can overcome barriers to address homelessness.