BEND, OR -- Central Oregon Villages is nearly done building its Desert Streams Village - a transitional housing project at 27th and Bear Creek, in Bend. Executive Director Nicky Merritt says six individual bedroom shelters are still under construction, "They’re considered temporary outdoor shelters. And we have a kitchen trailer, a shower trailer, a mobile office and we’ll have a yurt for a community room."
Once complete, there will be 20 units. Merritt expects the facility to be at capacity next month. "We’re currently sheltering 10 people here. And they have full access to a small kitchen, showers, bathrooms, weekly case management with our case manager," she tells KBND News, "They get one meal a day and then they’re on their own with their other daily living needs."
Eight of the residents are women, most are over 55 and all have medical needs, "Some have come out of the woods off of China Hat or Dirt World. Some have come from Bethlehem Inn, some have come from Second Street." She adds, "Some older women have SSI and that’s $800 a month. They can’t rent an apartment on $800 a month. And they have medical needs that really they can’t be in the woods or even at Second Street Shelter." Those health concerns run the gamut, "Probably four people use walkers, some have oxygen needs, diabetics, congestive heart failure, COPD, emphysema."
Residents of Desert Streams Village must be clean and sober, both on and off premises, and must follow rules and procedures. This is the nonprofit's second and largest location.
With the facility nearly complete, Merritt says, "We thought it was time to welcome the community in and show them what we’ve been doing the last year." A grand opening will be held at the site Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the public to tour the facility. Desert Streams Village is located behind Desert Streams Church. Access and parking are at the back of the facility, off Benson Way and Livingston Drive.