BEND, OR -- Bend City Council continues to hear concerns about a planned homeless shelter at the Desert Streams Church, near 27th and Bear Creek. Former Police Chief Jim Porter is President of the Board for Central Oregon Villages – the nonprofit proposing the shelter.
He says he understands why people are worried, "People were envisioning Hunnel Road moving into their neighborhood – unmanaged camping. And, what we’re trying to do is put managed camping in place, so you don’t see the drug abuse, you don’t see the crimes, you don’t see the victimization, you don’t see the uncontrolled camping spreading out all over." He adds, "It’s controlled camping where people are required to, number one: assist in the cleaning up of the camp. There are going to be 24-hour management on site. It’s going to be a separated, fenced in area to protect the campers as much as protect the neighborhood because we don’t want unsanctioned people sneaking in at night trying to stay at the camp." He tells KBND News because the camp would be on private church property, management can kick people out who cause a problem; something not possible on public land.