▶️ Sisters denies application for cold weather homeless shelter


Despite high hopes among many of the homeless in and around Sisters, the city council shut down the idea of a cold weather shelter for the foreseeable future Tuesday night.

“After weeks and weeks of testimony and reviewing the application tonight, we denied the application based on three specific criteria,” said Mayor Michael Preedin.

The coucil voted 4-1 to deny approving an application for an emergency warming shelter for the homeless.

“The applicant’s experience themselves with running a shelter and best practices of a shelter, that was very vague in the legislation and was fairly vague in the application itself,” said Preedin.

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The council also cited public safety as a reason behind the denial.

“With a lack of resources in this area, it poses a higher risk than possibly other areas,” Preedin said.

And the third reason was access to adequate transportation to local services.

“While there may be adequate medical and there may be adequate services, the transportation and the access to that transportation didn’t meet the criteria as well.”

Preedin says this doesn’t mean the council is against a shelter, but believes there needs to be a better public process.

“We look to collaborate with possibly the cold weather shelter and certainly the rest of the public and other organizations here in Sisters, and hopefully, we can come to a solution to help the houseless,” he said.

The Sisters Cold Weather Shelter board was set to purchase a building for that shelter near downtown for nearly $950,000. A grant received by the non-profit, which totals $1.46 million, would also allow the shelter to buy four apartment units in Sisters for those transitioning to Section 8 low-income housing.

It’s unclear what the Cold Weather Shelter board plans to do next. Board president Luis Blanchard told Central Oregon Daily News he would speak about the council’s decision Tuesday night, but later declined the request, saying he needed to talk with the rest of the board first.


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