City of Bend News Release – 12/21/2022

A year-end wrap-up message from Councilor Megan Perkins on houselessness:


“As the end of the year approaches, I want to reflect on what we’ve done over the last twelve months to support solutions to houselessness.

Some of those solutions come in the form of brick and mortar – literal beds and buildings with roofs and heat.

Other solutions focus on policy development. And as we build these solutions, we advocate for funding to support the work of our partners. Our most vulnerable community members rely on services that they provide.

First, I want to talk about the solutions that physically provide shelter and refuge for people.

In 2020, this Council prioritized a new goal related to building shelter capacity. We are aiming to have 500 beds of shelter available by July 2023. Since committing to the goal, the City of Bend has supported the creation of 151 new beds, with 20 more expected to become available this spring.

Currently, 394 units are available on a year-round basis with about 60 potential beds anticipated in spring 2023.

The former Bend Value Inn on Division is currently undergoing renovations for use as a emergency  shelter, and the former Rainbow Motel on Franklin is currently being used as a shelter.

The Lighthouse Navigation Center is another important resource for our unhoused community members and is a new addition to our community, offering job-searching assistance, healthcare connections, warm meals, and refuge from our winter temperatures.  In November alone, 3,370 shelter beds were utilized. As it continues to grow colder, they are also taking in guests for emergency warming overnight.

I also want to highlight the temporary outdoor shelter that Central Oregon Villages will be developing as an important option and service for our community. Along with Deschutes County, we are funding the operation of that shelter for the next three years.

I am proud of our City Council for pursuing state and federal funding to help accomplish these efforts. Much of the funding for our shelters – like Project Turnkey – came from grants and dollars that we actively pursued. How and where we allocate funding demonstrates this Council’s values and, ultimately, our community. I am thankful to be a part of this community that prioritizes its most vulnerable residents.

Finally, I want to touch on the policy work we’ve accomplished over the last year. Many community members provided input on both the Shelter Code and the Camping Code, and I’m grateful for the participation and investment in those efforts.

The Shelter Code embeds the guidelines for locating and establishing shelters within our Development Code, making the process for identifying places for people to go easier and faster.

The Camping Code, which will go into effect in March, outlines the time, place, and manner that camping can occur in the City’s rights of way.

I also want to recognize all of the planning and effort that resulted in Central Oregon’s first Coordinated Houseless Response Office. Our City Councilors advocated for the formation of the Office and are confident that it will result in an efficient, effective system of care.

Thank you for showing up with us to do this work. Thank you for voicing your priorities and ideas. Thank you, so much, to the service providers who deliver care and services on a daily basis.”


-Councilor Megan Perkins