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Cold Snap

City Manager signs emergency declaration to open up more lodging for the homeless

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With sub-freezing temperatures predicted this week, Bend City Manager Eric King signed a weather emergency declaration that went into effect on Dec. 1 and runs until Feb. 28, 2019.

King’s declaration allows the use of approved alternative shelter facilities to provide emergency overnight lodging for homeless people when the temperature is or is predicted to be below 25 degrees — and all Bend-area shelter facilities are full.

Larry Kogovsek and Sally Pfeifer stand in front of the newly-constructed bunk beds in the Sagewood Sanctuary, located inside Pfeifer & Associates on NW Greenwood Ave. Sagewood is currently the only approved emergency shelter in Bend. - NICOLE VULCAN
  • Nicole Vulcan
  • Larry Kogovsek and Sally Pfeifer stand in front of the newly-constructed bunk beds in the Sagewood Sanctuary, located inside Pfeifer & Associates on NW Greenwood Ave. Sagewood is currently the only approved emergency shelter in Bend.

However, at this point, Bend has only one approved alternative shelter, the Sagewood Sanctuary located at 23 NW Greenwood Avenue, according to Cindy Kettering, City of Bend Fire Department’s deputy fire marshal. Kettering said Sagewood will provide overnight lodging for a maximum of 20 people.



“Our existing shelters, Shepherd’s House and Bethlehem Inn, usually receive a temporary overflow increase as well to allow people to sleep in dining areas that normally would not be occupied at night,” Kettering said in an email.

When the declaration is made, Kettering said that Bend Fire sometimes receives calls from people about becoming an approved emergency shelter.

According to the City, alternative shelters must complete a fire safety inspection and fix all safety issues prior to providing overnight shelter.

As part of the emergency overnight lodging requirements put in place by Bend Fire, the maximum number of people that can use an emergency shelter is determined by an occupant load factor of one person for every 50 square feet or 200 gross square feet per occupant.

Bend Fire says sleeping areas may only be located on the ground floor of an emergency shelter, and not in basements or floors “above grade.”

Smoking of any kind is not allowed in emergency shelter buildings, nor is alcohol, according to Bend Fire.

For more information or to request a consultation to become an approved alternative shelter facility, contact the Bend Fire Department Prevention District at 541-322-6309.

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