Zack Demars | Local News and Investigative Reporter

Zack Demars is a reporter in Oregon. He's currently a special projects reporter for The Bulletin, Central Oregon's daily newspaper, where he covers housing, homelessness, child care, climate resilience and more with in-depth reporting and community engagement events. Read more: Bend Bulletin — Author: Zack Demars.

Prior to moving back to Bend, Demars was a wide-ranging news and features reporter for The World newspaper in Coos Bay, Oregon, as well as its sister papers in Brookings, Oregon, and Crescent City, California.

A 2020 graduate from the University of Oregon with bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science, Demars was a reporter and editor for the Daily Emerald in Eugene. After graduation online in the pandemic's early phases, he was a Snowden intern at The Bulletin in Bend.

While at UO, Demars also reported for the Catalyst Journalism Project, where his team investigated nationwide solutions to homelessness. That reporting appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and a number of other outlets via the Associated Press.

He was also the lead author of Classroom 15, a collaborative book about international friendships, government censorship, the Cold War and a failed pen pal project by Southern Oregon fourth graders. Classroom 15 was published by Anthem Press in Dec. 2020. Read more: New York Times — Times Insider: How a Fourth Grader in 1960 Inspired College Students in 2019.

Oregon’s low-barrier shelters can offer entry into services

Communities throughout Oregon confronted with rising rents, record growth and historic wildfire seasons are turning to more kinds of shelter options for their unhoused populations, but continue to be limited in what they can accomplish with low housing availability.
Read More →

Cities try to arrest their way out of homeless problems

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) — In the nine years he has been homeless, Kenneth Shultz has spent one of every three nights in jail. The 71-year-old retiree has been charged with trespassing 96 times, including after he fell asleep behind gas stations, outside office buildings and in a city park. His 1,034 days in jail have come with a crushing debt of $41,311 in court costs, fines and fees and an estimated taxpayer tab of nearly $50,000. “I don’t do it on purpose,” says Shultz, who became homeless sometime around the beginning of 2011 but can’t remember why. “Sometimes I just get exhausted, and boom, sit down. That’s it. You’re trespassing.”
Read More →

Adult connections, shelter are key to improving houseless graduation rates

Oregon students who spend any part of their education homeless are far less likely to graduate high school than any group of their peers. Despite gains in recent years, the barriers these students continue to face keeps a diploma out of reach for many and perpetuates a cycle of lifelong homelessness.
Read More →

ICE agents detain Bend men as angry crowd protests

A crowd of activists surrounded two buses outside Crane Shed Commons about noon Wednesday in Bend, angry that federal immigration officials had detained two men. An armed officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a flack vest said he would not comment on the actions as he hid his badge. But City of Bend spokesperson Anne Aurand confirmed the presence of the federal officers. About 200 people — faith leaders, supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and bystanders — gathered
Read More →

Community courts and the homeless: Do these programs make a difference?

Jourdan Horton made her way from Minnesota to Oregon two years ago on the promise of working on a farm near Eugene. The job fell through, she lost possession of her car and Horton soon found herself living on the streets. It didn’t take long before she ended up like hundreds of other unhoused people in Eugene: charged with crimes as a result of being homeless. Just after a sunrise in September 2018, Horton was under a blanket, huddled near a parking lot, when a police officer saw her and charg
Read More →

Oregon’s 894th: Local family remembers father lost to virus

Read More →