The Deschutes County Board of Commissioners has backed out of a plan to create a managed homeless camp in south Bend. The vote Wednesday was 2-1.
The board was supposed to be responsible for finding someone to manage the camp, which would be located just south of the Les Schwab Tire store between 3rd Street and Highway 97.
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The City of Bend now owns that land, recently purchasing it from the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler expressed her disappointment in the board’s decision during an afternoon press conference.
“This is incredibly disappointing,” said Kebler.” We’ve had multiple discussions with the county and the coordinated Houseless Response Office as elected leaders and staff about solutions and where people can go. The city relied on information from the county in its decisions about Hunnell Road, and we trusted that they were our partners on the solution.”
There is no immediate decision of what this means to the future clearing of camps on Hunnell Road on the north end of town. The camps were going to be cleared on March 16, but that move was put on hold following the announcement to create the camp on the south end of the city.
Central Oregon Daily’s Morgan Gwynn, who has been closely following the homelessness issue in the tri-county area, will have a full report on Central Oregon Daily News at 5:00 p.m. on KOHD and 6:00 p.m. on KBNZ.