In an effort to get Governor Tina Kotek to agree to let Deschutes County establish managed homeless camps outside the Urban Growth Boundary, the Coordinated Houseless Response Office is planning a meeting with public lands officials and other agencies. The board Thursday outlined those they want at the meeting including ODOT, Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.
“We bring these bodies and entities together to… really emphasize that this is an emergency,” said Co-chair and Bend City Councilor Megan Perkins, who also suggested hearing from those who assist the unsheltered population, “It might be helpful to understand the constraints of our behavioral health staff. So maybe we take it from that, that angle of what they're able to do in this situation.”
The board will also invite Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Behavioral Health to provide input.
“Being able to identify what that is, and having Forest Service with ODFW, with anybody with our local fire department. Because I think as we get people closer in and are providing services, it might create more action,” said board member and Redmond councilor Cat Zwicker adding, “We need the people at the table who actually can do the things we're thinking about or asking about or maybe they've already done them and they can tell us, well, that's not going to work and here's why.”
The Coordinated Houseless Response Office hopes to schedule the multi-agency meeting as soon as possible.