The City of Bend and NeighborImpact have partnered to fund the re-opening of the former winter warming shelter as a low-barrier shelter for unhoused community members.
The Shepherd’s House will operate the shelter, an old Opportunity Foundation thrift store located at 275 NE Second Street, according to a release from the City of Bend.
The shelter will open on June 1st and will run overnight seven days a week from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Meanwhile, on Monday, ODOT started to clean up some of the current homeless camps around town.
They started on an area along the canal in Bend that runs near Fred Meyer.
The department posted last week that they were planning to clean up the camps and were working with partners like the city, Shepherd’s House and others on finding a solution for any displaced residents.
Case management and supportive services will be provided by the Project S.H.A.R.E. Program of Shepherd’s House and several other agencies to ensure collaboration and continuity of services for guests at the shelter.
“Having a low-barrier shelter in Bend is an important step towards our Council goal to find 500 beds for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” said Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins. “This public-private partnership is a key investment and can serve as a model for our actions going forward.”
City officials say the shelter is guaranteed for six to nine months, but the intention is to make it permanent.
The warming shelter opened in November 2020 and was able to house about 70 people each night.
The City and NeighborImpact are funding the shelter by combining dedicated state and federal funds each organization has received for these specific types of services.
Each agency will contribute at least $300,000 from federal COVID-19 Relief Funds received last year, which will provide approximately six to nine months of initial funding.
The Emergency Homelessness Task Force, a joint endeavor between the City and Deschutes County to respond to homelessness issues, will explore options for long-term funding to support the shelter’s operations year-round.
There are nearly 1,000 people who are experiencing homelessness in Central Oregon on any given night.
This number includes families with children and youth who do not live with an adult.
Learn more in Central Oregon Homelessness Facts & Figures.
This is a developing story.