BEND, OR -- Central Oregon's first homeless women's shelter opens this weekend. As KBND was first to report, The Shepherd's House in Bend will run the facility for addicted, abused homeless women and their children.
Curt Floski, Shepherd's House Executive Director, tells KBND News, "It's at 2120 Bear Creek Road. We've had a gracious donor step in and purchase the property and worked out a really great deal through a lease. We're just really excited about the opportunity."
Until now, homeless women have not had a lot of options in Central Oregon. The Shepherd's House current shelter only accepts men and the Bethlehem Inn has limited openings. This new shelter will provide a safe space for women and children and, Floski says, long term help. "In terms of really addressing the issues of homelessness that women really find themselves in, often living in their cars or living in cars with their kids, that's become a real challenge. And, there are just really limited services in Central Oregon. We're really excited to have the opportunity to start stepping in."
He says the first resident will be a single mom and her fourth grad son who have lived in their car for three years. But there are already plans to expand. "We're going to initially bring in three women and we're in the process of a conditional use permit to expand that, hopefully to nine women. Then, we have an adjacent property that we're working on; our hope and goal is to expand that to a 40-bed facility for women and children. Along with that, in this house, we'll have a chemical dependency counselor and a domestic violence counselor available. We're also going to have a case manager."
An open house will be held tomorrow from 1-4 p.m. at the shelter at the corner of Bear Creek and Dean Swift Road. Public tours will be available.