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Navigation Center Opens

Shepherd's House Lighthouse Navigation Center on Second Street connects people with case management

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Bend's navigation center officially opened its doors on July 12, less than four months after the City of Bend approved a proposal submitted by Shepherd's House to convert its overnight shelter into a 24-hour service center. It's called The Lighthouse, meant to evoke a guide to safety that's not the final destination.

The center had a soft opening in late June, when it started rolling out services. It's funded by $2.5 million from the state through House Bill 2006 and $1.4 million through money allocated to the City from the American Rescue Plan Act. The building's been renovated to create a space for navigation center services in what was an extra sleeping area. The area is stocked with tables to interact with other guests and case managers, computers and books.

Navigation Center - BY JACK HARVEL
  • By Jack Harvel
  • Navigation Center

"The sheltering services continue, and that's where we're providing the safe housing and food and clothing as people need it to get off the streets, and hopefully start to build relationships and be able to get to the point where they want to turn the corner and regain some things in their lives," said David Notari, director of development at Shepherd's House. "The Navigation Center is a concept that really provides the opportunity for that to happen in practical ways."

The sleeping area is fitted with new bunkbeds to maintain the shelter's capacity of about 100 guests. The Oregon legislature created the concept of a navigation center with House Bill 2006, which required them to be low-barrier, open seven days a week and provide case management, behavioral and physical health referrals, referrals for substance abuse disorders, help acquiring IDs, documentation and benefits, job training, aid in applying for housing, trauma-informed counseling and daily meals.

At The Lighthouse everyone entering the program is assigned a case manager who'll try to find what services are most needed for each individual. Since starting case management at the beginning of June, and the opening of the day-use area on June 27, Shepherd's House has over 65 participants in the program. There's also been a slight uptick in people staying at the overnight shelter, according to Notari. The state's requirements give a level of leniency to providers in implementing programs.

"That's kind of guiding some of the data that we're looking to track, and obviously required trainings in terms of safety and activity and trauma informed care," said Evan Hendrix, associate director of the Lighthouse Navigation Center. "Everything else that we're doing in regards to what's happening here is programmatic derived from Shepherd's House kind of culture and history and some of what we've learned along the way."

That culture is collaborative, and the center is working closely with nearly a dozen partners in the public and nonprofit sectors. The increased services call for increased staffing. Shepherd's House hired out some positions but is still reliant on volunteers.

"We've hired staff, which that helps, but the need for meal service is huge. Now, we're serving over 200 meals a day. That's a heavy lift, so we need help in those areas. The basic services that are offered, the cleanup services, the admin services, those things are always areas that we could use volunteers in," Notari said.

Shepherd's House's contract with the City lasts three years and includes two possible two-year extensions.

About The Author

Jack Harvel

Jack is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and has been making his way west since graduating from the University of Missouri, working a year and a half in Northeast Colorado before moving to Bend in the Spring of 2021. When not reporting he’s either playing folk songs (poorly) or grand strategy video games,...

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