Neighbors of the possible, managed homeless camp near Bend High School felt blindsided when they found out about it.
They felt the city of Bend should have done a better job of communicating what was going on. To be fair, many of the details are just not available yet — who might run the camp, who would be housed there, security and even what kind of housing it might have. But the city could have done more to communicate swiftly what is known. It could have developed a website, which it since has done, to at least point people to a collection of facts and clarifications. It could have set up more meetings with residents and other neighbors. Bend city councilors and staff have done some.
Why are we dredging this back up again? It’s because we heard this week about a new location that the city and the county have been thinking about for a possible managed camp or some kind of housing.
Before you get too excited, no formal decision has been made. The property has just been identified. We thought people should know.
It’s at 62810 Boyd Acres Road. It’s a small property owned by the county. It’s about a half an acre in the shape of a triangle. The picture below shows a bit what it looks like now.
It is on the east side of Boyd Acres, across from Jeld -Wen, down an access road. It is bounded on one side by a Central Oregon Irrigation District canal, currently flowing. And nearby is a North Unit Irrigation District canal, currently dry. There appears to be one home adjacent to the property. The general area is used by people who exercise themselves and their dogs along the canals. The other nearest cluster of residences is across the North Unit Canal along NE Hidden Valley Drive. There is an industrial area on the other side of the Central Oregon Irrigation District canal.
A prime spot for a camp? We don’t know.
But city and county officials talked about it, without identifying the precise address, as a possible location this week at a meeting of the Homeless Emergency Task Force. And it’s better to know at least that much than to be blindsided.