Local News

County Gives Approval For Bend Managed Homeless Camp

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners are working with the city of Bend to find shelter space for the people living on Hunnell Road.

The camp must be dispersed to allow for the Highway 97 North Corridor construction. Officials estimate between 80 and 100 people need to be relocated.

At a meeting Monday, City Manager Eric King told commissioners a public-private partnership could create a camp at the south end of Bend near Murphy Road and Highway 97. Officials estimate several camps may be needed. 

Cheyenne Purrington, Houseless Strategies and Solutions Director, told Commissioners her office is looking for solutions, “There’s a range of options that might include Safe Parking, Managed Camps…Supported camps might just include a basic needs amenities station.”

Addressing Commissioners’ concerns, Purrington says sanctioned camps can be safe for campers and the surrounding area, “These supported camps can provide safety measure without involving formal security. Often those include community agreements…working with staff to identify any concerning behavior.”

Commissioners plan to send a letter to the Governor and Department of Emergency Management asking to suspend land-use rules, to allow more areas to be considered. 

That letter and other suggestions will be reviewed at Wednesday’s County Commissioner meeting.

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