City of Bend News Release – Homelessness Update 9/07/2022
Bend City Council Houselessness Update 9/7/22
Tonight I want to provide some updates about The Lighthouse, a new Navigation Center operated by the Shepherd’s House, along with giving you some information about the camping code and rights-of-way management.
Outdoor Shelter/Shelter Capacity
August saw an increase in the number of individuals using services at the The Lighthouse, the Navigation Center which has been in operation for just over two months. The Shepherd’s House, the nonprofit operating the Center, also reported that 14 clients exited to more stable housing within the last month. We want to thank the staff and all of the Shepherd’s House partners for their ongoing work, with special recognition to Family Kitchen. Along with all of the other work they already do for our community, they took over food service at the Navigation Center and are currently providing three meals per day at that site.
Central Oregon Villages has proposed establishing a temporary outdoor shelter in SE Bend. The site was selected by Central Oregon Villages in coordination with the property owner, and they are working through Phase 1 now – which focuses on community outreach and engagement along with the drafting of a Good Neighbor Agreement. We expect to hear a report from Central Oregon Villages in October regarding Phase 1 and discuss moving towards Phase 2, which would establish a contract for siting and shelter operations.
During one of our June meetings, Council determined a process for creating a camping code that will regulate how, when and where camping occurs within Bend. The process purposefully includes opportunities for public education and engagement prior to and throughout drafting the code. In August, we held two informational open houses that drew both in-person and virtual participants. The sessions included information sharing (things like what the code will address and what it won’t address) and time to take audience questions. During our work-session tonight, September 7, Council discussed how we want to include additional inputs – including roundtable discussions with invited stakeholders. We will continue to invite public input both through public comment and email (to email@example.com) as we work towards having a complete camping code draft by the end of this year.
Rights of Way Management
A new team member, the Health and Safety Compliance Coordinator, is joining the Transportation and Mobility Department next week. This position will focus on management of City rights of way, specifically in reference to code compliance – both proactively and in response to service requests. Management of rights of way encompasses a wide scope, including sidewalk conditions, winter operations and encampments. This new position will allow for a coordinated, streamlined approach to our management efforts.
As you can see, the City of Bend is not just moving forward on one front in regard to houselessness. We are working on many different strategies to ensure that our houseless community has access to shelter and has their basic needs met and that our community at large feels secure and supported as well. We continue to welcome your input and solutions at any time.
-Councilor Megan Perkins