Location of west county homeless shelter is questioned

By on Friday, September 24th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

UMATILLA COUNTY – The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners heard from people upset that the county is allowing land to be used for a homeless shelter north of Hermiston near the city of Umatilla. The county had voted in favor of allowing the planners for the shelter to put it on county-owned land.

Chairman George Murdock said the commissioners were happy to listen to the group, which felt there were better sites for such a shelter than the county’s land. He said the discussion on location really needs to happen with the organizers.

“The west county homeless shelter is being proposed by a group that includes Hermiston, Umatilla, Echo, and Stanfield,” Murdock said. “The city of Umatilla is driving the bus.”

The commissioners suggested that the people attending the meeting should be brought into the loop by those planners.

“We suggested that they be provided with some kind of an opportunity to share their thoughts with some of the other more active partners in the process,” he said.

The proposed facility would feature a warming station and temporary living huts. Its planners propose locating it on 10 acres of county-owned land at Lind and Bensel roads.