Redmond’s homeless population will soon have a low-barrier, year-round shelter as Shepherd’s House Ministries expands its services.
“We’re taking a really big step forward by establishing a facility in Redmond. Not only where we can offer shelter and meals and showers, but where we’ll welcome other service providers into the building to meet with our clients and help them take those next steps forward,” Redmond City Director for Shepherd’s House Andrew Hoeksema said.
This space will be the first low-barrier option in Redmond.
“We operate as a low-barrier provider which means we try to minimize the rules or burdens we place on people and really just be a safe connecting place for them,” Hoeksema said.
Minimizing the rules does not mean there aren’t any. Unhoused individuals will not be allowed to bring in drugs, alcohol or weapons.
The shelter will have 44 beds with distinct men’s and women’s facilities. Families experiencing homelessness will also have the option of staying in one of three separate rooms.
Meals, showers and additional resources will be offered during the day. Hoeksema said the goal is to work with other service providers to offer as much help as possible to those who want it.
Central Oregon Daily went to NE 17th Street in Redmond, where a sizable homeless population has settled. Out of the three people we spoke with, none of them said they would be interested in living in a shelter.
After asking one of them, Joe, why he would not want this option, he said, “Well because of my dog and my RV. Everything I own is in there.”
He has lived on 17th for two years.
“Pretty much don’t have no rules out here,” he said. “They just do what they want.”
While he prefers to stay on the streets, he said others might be intrigued by the new option.
“I wouldn’t, but there might be some people that do,” he said.
Initially, the shelter will only be open as an overnight shelter, with plans to expand to 24-hour operations.