The Bend City Council adopted the Safe Parking Programs into the municipal code on April 7, 2021, that enable property owners or lessees within the City of Bend to allow limited overnight parking for people experiencing homelessness. Code changes provide additional shelter options for individuals and families without access to permanent, safe shelter, and who are not able to obtain other low-income housing. These programs are intended to be used on a seasonal, emergency or transitional basis.
There are two categories within the Safe Parking Program
Overnight Camping: Allows up to three vehicles used by people who lack access to permanent or safe shelter and who cannot obtain other low-income housing for overnight camping. The following criteria apply to this option:
- Vehicles must be in a parking lot, or on a paved or gravel surface
- Property owner must provide access to sanitation, including bathroom, hand washing, and trash disposal facilities
- No formal City authorization required
- Properties must be leased or owned by a business, religious, non-profit or public entity
- Does not override covenants (CC&Rs) prohibiting overnight parking; Property owners/lessees are responsible for looking into their own property restrictions
- No fee may be charged for overnight stays
Transitional Overnight Parking Accommodation: With authorization from the City, up to six vehicles and/or temporary huts/tents may be used for overnight accommodation of people who lack permanent or safe shelter and who cannot obtain other low income housing. Public entities may allow more than 6 vehicles or huts/tents, with approval from the City. The property owner or lessee must submit an application to the City and be approved before opening any overnight accommodations. The following criteria apply to this option:
- Vehicles and tents/huts must be in a parking lot, or on a paved or gravel surface.
- Property owner/lessee must propose a plan and provide access to sanitation, including bathroom, handwashing, and trash disposal facilities; supervision, and policies on who can stay, how long, and what hours of the day/night.
- Property must be located at least 150 feet from a childcare facility or school, unless the parking accommodations are located on property owned or leased by a public entity or religious institution.
- Requires property owner/lessee to notice each adjacent property owner about the intent of the overnight parking and to post a notice at the site with hours of operation and a contact name and phone number.
- This program requires case management or supervision which will be coordinated by the property owner or lessee.
- Does not override covenants (CC&Rs) prohibiting overnight parking; Owners/lessees are responsible for looking into their own property restrictions.
- No fee may be charged for overnight stays.
- Approval by the City is not a land use decision. Approval is not transferrable to new property owner/lessee. Annual reapplication is required.
Applicants must apply for and receive authorization for operation from the City Manager or designee, and agree to abide by all conditions, including acceptance of liability and demonstration of insurance coverage in amounts acceptable to the City. To learn more about these programs or to apply, please visit the City of Bend’s Safe Parking Program webpage under Temporary Transitional Housing.
Fortunately, this is not a new idea and we have many models to draw upon if your business, religious, non-profit or public entity wants to be part of the solution to safely and stably housing our community members.
The ask: Please consider opening your parking lot for 3+ households to park their cars or RVs as they work on their long-term goals for housing stability.
Safe Haven Parking Project Program Details
- An individual, couple, or family is identified through the homeless services coordinated entry process.
- An intake is completed, and appropriate/available temporary and transitional housing solutions are discussed.
- If appropriate, the Safe Haven Parking case manager is notified with a name and number.
- Potential guests are educated about the program, including rules and expectations.
- Safe Haven Parking guests are met at the participating site’s parking lot to perform an in- person intake and provide a parking pass.
- The Code of Conduct expectations are presented and signed. Guests must adhere to the Code of Conduct to continue to access Safe Haven Parking.
- Supportive services are arranged for the duration of the stay.
- The City of Bend is supportive of this program and will have a basic application for the site to complete prior to approval.
- The City of Bend Community Outreach Officer (Bend Police Department) will be a point of contact if needed.
Benefits of Being a Safe Haven Parking Partner
- Increased awareness regarding the crisis of housing and homelessness and an opportunity to contribute to the solution.
- Build and strengthen community relations.
- Greater safety and security around your property!
If the idea of providing dignified, safe housing to some of our most vulnerable neighbors is something you’d like to explore further on behalf of your community, please contact REACH at firstname.lastname@example.org.
REACH, the Homeless Leadership Coalition, and the City of Bend