BEND, OR -- A Bend homeless shelter has agreed to help newly released inmates transition back into society. The Bethlehem Inn has provided housing for ex cons in the past, but the shelter and Deschutes County's Community Justice Department have now entered into a formal agreement to provide five beds for this purpose. "We've worked with Parole and Probation for years and we have a great working relationship," Bethlehem Inn Executive Director Gwen Wysling tells KBND. "We're all about accountability and trying to work with our community to make sure we're providing a safe place for all."
The formal agreement begins in June. Wysling says it's a one-year partnership with an option to renew. "It provides funding for the shelter, as well as helping the county in terms of transitioning folks from their incarceration back into society. We feel because we provide a clean and sober environment and one that requires rules and accountability, that we're helping to set people up for success so that they can get themselves reestablished and back into society," she says.