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Local News

Emergency Declared for Additional Shelter Capacity


It's been very cold recently, especially with the wind chill factor, and Bend City leaders don't want homeless people forced to sleep outside.

 

The city just declared an "emergency" so that extra homeless shelters can be set up.

 

Justin Finestone, with the City of Bend, says this first surfaced a few years ago during a cold snap.  Several Churches wanted to help by opening temporary shelters.  But thet Fire Department was concerned about safety.    

 

"WE WORKED WITH THE COMMUNITY AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT TO COME UP WITH SOME MINIMUM GUIDELINES -SO THOSE CHURCHES COULD PICK UP THE CAPACITY BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE SPENDING THE NIGHT OUTSIDE - IF THEY DON'T HAVE TO - - WE CAME UP WITH A PLAN WHERE THE CITY CAN DECLARE AN EMERGENCY IF IT GETS TO BE 25 DEGREES OR LESS OVERNIGHT.  SO PLACES CAN CALL THE FIRE MARSHAL AND THEN THEY CAN COME OUT AND GIVE THEM THE REQUIREMENTS AND INSPECT THE PROPERTY TO MAKE SURE THEY AREN'T HOUSING TOO MANY PEOPLE AND THAT THEIR FACILITY IS SAFE."

 

The Declaration is in effect until February 28th, 2013.


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