BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors have agreed to a $1.8 million contract with Shepherd’s House to run the new Franklin Avenue homeless shelter. "We authorized a contract using ARPA dollars from both the county and the city to get that open, at least for the next 18 months," Mayor Melanie Kebler tells KBND News, "So we can start moving some families and some medically fragile people that are waiting in our congregate shelter to get into a better situation."
Kebler had hoped the project would get some funding from the Governor’s emergency homeless package. But she says, so far, that hasn’t come through. "We’re still hopeful we can make that happen and will continue to look for funding to support this shelter," she says.
Kebler says it’s part of an ongoing plan to help the most vulnerable in the houseless community. The city also continues to get pushback on a plan to close Northeast Hunnell Road to campers. "They don’t know where they would go if they were asked to leave. And that they really want the city to be thoughtful about if there is a closure of Hunnell, there has to be another resource or somewhere for them to go. And that is what we’re working on and continue to try to partner with the county and other partners on, as well. And that’s part of the reason why we are enforcing part of our camping code out there - which is ‘place and manner,’ trying to keep things clean and orderly and keep the right of way managed." She says there is no set timeline for that closure.