Officials from the City of Bend and Deschutes County met Tuesday to discuss their future approach to the issue of homelessness.
“Today was an update on our Coordinated Houseless Response Office (CHRO), which is a body that we formed along with the county and Redmond and Sisters to address and really reverse the trends that we’ve seen in our county for the last decade on homelessness,” said Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman.
“Today was more of an update on some of the county’s actions when it comes to their code enforcement within their jurisdiction and also some of the actions that the city has taken to meet the challenges on housing and homelessness here in our jurisdiction,” said Broadman.
The City and County have had a few challenges and hiccups during the process, such as a proposal for a managed camp in south Bend being scrapped and the director of the CHRO stepping down less than nine months after taking the job.
The updated City of Bend camping code allowed for the cleanup and closing of several homeless encampments, like the one that used to occupy Hunnell Road.
“I think what we heard today from everybody at the dais was support for its mission, shared values on working together to make sure that we meet this challenge cooperatively and in a coordinated fashion. And that is really the purpose behind the CHRO was to have a central governance structure and stop having this be a political football that governments pass back and forth, but instead really work together and I think we saw a lot of buy-in at the at the dais today for that,” said Broadman.
Given the lack of progress on addressing homelessness in some cities and the impressive progress in others, there is yet to be a truly coordinated effort to address the crisis countywide.