A Coordinated Effort to Expand Shelters | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

A Coordinated Effort to Expand Shelters

The Coordinated Houseless Response Office is attempting to fund four potential shelter projects

Central Oregon agencies are working together to expand outdoor shelters to better serve Deschutes County’s houseless population. After voting to move forward with four outdoor shelter proposals, members of the Coordinated Houseless Response Office are working to establish funds for these projects.

In March, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, in partnership with CHRO, released a Request for Qualifications to design, develop and operate temporary shelter sites in Deschutes County. The purpose of the RFQ was to expand immediate sheltering options to accommodate 30% of Deschutes County’s unsheltered population.

On May 16, CHRO announced that it had received seven submissions, all from local applicants. The proposals included four safe parking program, two tiny home villages and one managed camp.
click to enlarge A Coordinated Effort to Expand Shelters
Oasis Village
In order to determine which projects would be the best fit, the Intergovernmental Review Team, consisting of members of COIC, HLC, the City of Bend, the City of Redmond and Deschutes County staff, scored the applications based off of a tiering system. The review team determined that two projects fell into tier one, which meant they were recommended and shovel ready.

CHRO voted to accept the tier-one and tier-two recommendations at the end of the presentation.

Tammy Baney, the executive director of COIC, announced on June 13 that Gov. Tina Kotek agreed to award COIC $1 million in shelter pod funding in an agreement signed just two days prior.

In the meeting, Baney stated that the $1.1 million is restricted for capital costs directly related to the addition of around 65 beds or units.

In addition to the funds from Kotek, the County has offered $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds toward proposed shelter projects, according to County Commissioner Patti Adair. CHRO will have to coordinate to establish additional funding for these projects.

The first tier one recommendation from the RFQ process was a proposed expansion at Oasis Village, a transitional housing village in Redmond, which opened its doors to its first 20 residents on Jan. 10. The proposal requested $494,000 to add 10 more tiny homes to its established village.

The other tier-one application was an application from Central Oregon Villages, proposing a six safe parking sites at the former DAWNS House location. COV currently has a site on the east side of Bend. This proposal requested $210,000.

Two additional applications received tier-two ratings, including a proposal for a 20- to 40-unit tiny home village in south Bend that would cost around $1 million, and an expansion of Mountainview Community Development’s safe parking program.

In an attempt to stretch the money as far as they can, CHRO members will discuss and vote on how to allocate the funds at a June 20 meeting to ensure they met their goals. The funding must be allocated by June 30, 2025. The board plans to vote on the usage of these funds at the June 20 meeting.

Julianna LaFollette

Julianna earned her Masters in Journalism at NYU in 2024. She loves writing local stories about interesting people and events. When she’s not reporting, you can find her cooking, participating in outdoor activities or attempting to keep up with her 90 pound dog, Finn.
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