BEND, OR -- Central Oregon Villages expects to open its first managed village by mid-May. Board President Jim Porter tells KBND News there were a few delays during the permitting process, but the site at 27th and Bear Creek is almost ready for the small pre-fab shelters. Electrical wiring is installed, along with gravel to level the property, fencing is on the way and a grant allowed for an additional key piece of equipment, “We were able to locate and we’re going to be purchasing a shower trailer, which is on wheels, kind of like what they use on forest fires for firefighters. It’s ADA compliant; it has a ramp for people with ADA challenges. And we’re very excited about that, that we’re actually going to be able to provide a humane shower and toilet facility for the residents of the village,” said Porter.
Eventually, the site will have 20 Pallet shelters, “They literally, the walls fold up together and you pin them in place, then you put the roof on. And then they have two to four beds in them, depending on the size of them; they have a small working desk, and a heater and an air conditioner in it, and they also have a plug in for charging devices. The nice thing about those is, if we need to move them, we can easily move them.”
Service providers have also been employed, “We’ve hired a case manager to help people through; a navigator, case manager. We also have a camp host hired. Our next step is to set up the shelters.”
Porter acknowledges not everyone is happy with the idea of a managed camp in their area, but says it’s unrealistic to site them outside the city, “If you want these people to get access to mental health, to get food, they’ve got to be close to that. And there’s the balance: where do you find someplace close to that, that doesn’t threaten neighborhoods?” Primarily, Porter says, the facility is for at-risk women and children.
To listen to our full conversation with Jim Porter, visit our Podcast Page.