(541) 649-2618 info@covillages.org

Desert Streams (East Bend) Frequently Asked Questions

A new website, stopcov.org, that expresses opposition to COV's planned village, contains several photos of clusters of shelters placed so closely side-by-side to another another that there is little room to walk around. The pictures show an overwhelming number of units. The photos give the impression that this will be what COV's planned managed village will look like. Is what is on the stopcov.org website an accurate depiction of what COV's managed village will look like?
No. COV’s planned village calls for an initial 10 shelter units, spaced comfortably apart so each villager has their own sense of space and place in an attractive environment. Look at the rendering on this website to get a real sense of what COV’s managed village is planned to look like.
Is this permanent housing?

No this is not permanent housing. Under the House Bill 2006, this is considered temporary outdoor shelter.

Is this a female-only site?

No, men and single parents with children will be considered if COV is not able to fill each of the 20 shelters with woman.

Will there be 24 hour supervision?

Yes, there will be 24 hour supervision/management from vetted and trained individuals and staff. During working hours a case worker and other staff will be on-site.

In addition to on-site persons, there will be security cameras and a security company coming twice a night. The village will be completely fenced and have a locked and monitored gate.

What type of security will you have and when will be it be offered?

COV will contract with a local security company to provide drive-by security checks around the perimeter of the property two times a night. Additionally, the security company can be called if the on-site manager is alerted to a security concern.

How many units will be located on site?
Central Oregon Villages (C.O.V.) plans to place 20 sleeping units in total. However, participants will enter the program five people at a time, several weeks apart. This allows case management to tailor individual case plans for each participant and assist with adjusting to a new community.
How many staff will be on each shift? Can you address the Monday-Thursday and Friday-Sunday hours?

The general staffing model will consist of the Executive Director and Case Managers working on-site with regular daytime hours Monday-Friday and rotating on-call duties Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the Executive Director and Case Manager there will be a Camp Host on-site evenings and weekends.

Who will be responsible for day to day operations at the location?
The Executive Director will be responsible for day-to-day operations at the location. There will be a variety of staff and trained individuals that will assist in day-to-day operations. The Executive Director will have an office on-site as well as the Case Manager.
Will there be enough staff to support the work?

We will increase the number of participants as the staffing is secured and trained.

How will you retain employment and get employees?

COV will be offering a competitive compensation package and on-going training opportunities.

Will the workers be trained to de-escalate difficult or upsetting situations or provide assistance and case management to residents?
Yes, C.O.V. will be contracting with Ryan Dowd and the Homeless Training Institute of Chicago to provide training in de-escalation techniques and trauma informed care. C.O.V. will also coordinate with county behavioral health staff and with Trauma Informed Oregon on de-escalation techniques and trauma informed care.
Will there be background checks for residents and/or staff?
Yes, both staff and residents will have both criminal and sex offender background checks.
Will there be mental health evaluations of Village participants?
Mental health evaluations will not be required. While we will encourage participants to engage in mental health services, we are unable to mandate a person to participate in a mental health evaluation.
What is your policy on drug use?

Participants will not be allowed to have drugs on-site, and will be required to pass a drug test on entry to the program and randomly throughout their stay. Management will be trained to recognize illegal drug use and sales, and will monitor areas around the Village as staffing allows and report any drug active to local law enforcement.

What will be the frequency of drug testing for Village participants?

Participants in this village site will be drug tested upon entry to the program, after any overnights away from the village, and/or when concerning behavior is observed.

Regarding your Friends Policy: will visiting friends be drug tested and monitored?

Visiting friends of participants will not be drug tested. COV staff and Task Masters will monitor visitor behavior. If a visitor becomes disruptive to the Village or appears to be under the influence of intoxicants, they will be asked to leave. Visitors will check in and check out as they enter and leave the village.

What is your policy regarding pedophiles?

Participants will have a background check, as well as checked against the sex offender registry. Anyone convicted of a prior sex offense will not be eligible for the program.

Will C.O.V. be providing only shelter to residents?
No – it will be a “Shelter Plus” model. Our villagers will have agreed to participate in case management designed to get them into permanent housing as quickly as possible. We will be assisting residents in identifying and addressing barriers they may have to getting into permanent housing. All villagers will have tailored, individual case plans and referrals to community partners. C.O.V.’s case manager will work directly with residents on a weekly basis until they are able to reach their goal of stable long-term housing.
What is C.O.V. going to do if camping outside of the fence occurs?
No camping by itinerant campers will be permitted outside the fence and/or on property we lease that may be outside the fence. Unlike unsanctioned camping on right of ways and city owned property, this parcel is privately owned and unsanctioned campers would be considered trespassers. They will be asked to leave by staff and assisted by Bend Police, if needed.
What is the current zoning of this parcel?

This parcel is currently zoned RS (Residential Urban Standard) and the shelter would be sited under HB 2006 which permits emergency shelters in residential zones.

  • Siting approvals under HB 2006 are not land use decisions. HB 2006 does not require mailed notice, public hearing, or solicitation of public comment on an application.
  • Decisions under HB 2006 may not be appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals but may be reviewed using the writ of review process provided under ORS 34.010 – 34.100.
  • HB 2006 was extended by the legislature in 2022 through HB 4051, and the siting authority in HB 2006 now sunsets on July 1, 2023. Shelters approved under the bill may remain in operation after the sunset.
  • Applicants must apply for and receive authorization for operation from the City Manager or designee, and agree to abide by all conditions.

General Unhoused Frequently Asked Questions

How many people are unhoused?

On a given night in 2019, 567,715 people are unhoused in the U.S. Between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017, an estimated 950,497 people used an emergency shelter or transitional housing program.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs consider a person to be unhoused if they are sleeping outside, in a place not meant for human habitation such as a car or abandoned building, or in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. Other federal agencies have different definitions for being unhoused.

Who experiences being unhoused?

On a single night in 2019, an estimated:

  • 171,670 people in families, including children, experienced being unhoused.
  • 396,045 single individuals experienced being unhoused.
  • 96,141 individuals had chronic patterns of being unhoused.
  • 37,085 veterans experienced being unhoused.
Why do people become unhoused?

Reasons vary, but the main reason people become unhoused is because they cannot find housing they can afford. Other factors can include a chronic health condition, domestic violence and systemic inequality. Read more about the causes of homelessness.

Are the majority of unhoused individuals mentally ill, or using drugs or alcohol?

Decades of epidemiological research reveals that one-third, at most, have a serious mental illness. And it is believed that only 20 to 40 percent of those who are unhoused have a substance abuse issue. In fact, abuse is rarely the sole cause of being unhoused and more often is a response to it because living on the street puts the individual in frequent contact with users and dealers.