Local News

Annual Count Finds Fewer Unhoused In Bend

BEND, OR -- A preliminary look at this year’s Point In Time homeless count shows a positive trend in Bend. "We actually went down in Bend, as far as overall numbers of folks who are homeless," says Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler, "And we are also seeing less unsheltered homeless and more people who are in a sheltered status, which is good because then they get those connections that get them into housing." Local leaders got an early look at the results from the survey conducted in January. Kebler says the broader stats are mixed, "In the region, overall, the numbers did go up in total. But in our city, they actually went down. And that’s the first time that’s happened in over a decade."

She tells KBND News, "I think that’s a credit to the city leadership in stepping up and saying we need to expand those shelter facilities, and our community partners that stepped up: Shepherds House, REACH, NeighborImpact, everybody’s who’s helping us run our Project Turnkey and our Second Street Shelter, and creating better partnership with the county and coordination. And, I think this is a sign that we need to keep going; we can’t let up."

Kebler believes an increase in affordable housing options also helps, "For all the housing built in Bend, 10% of it was deed restricted housing. And that was the result of a goal that we set in 2021 and continued to push forward, to really ramp up the number of those subsidized affordable housing units, to go along with all the market-rate units that are being built in Bend." She adds, "10% may not sound like a lot. But if you look at what other cities are able to do and sort of how much it takes to subsidize these units, it’s actually a really big accomplishment to see that percentage of our housing be set aside for people with certain incomes to make sure they can afford it."

The official results from this year’s PIT count, conducted by the Homeless Leadership Coalition, have not been released. 

 

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