Local News

Parolee Housing To Open In SE Bend In January

BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners formally approved a plan this week to open a housing facility for parolees in a triplex on SE Wilson in Bend. Funding to purchase the property comes from a state grant.

Commissioner Phil Chang acknowledged concerns from the public. But said it comes down to a choice between providing stable housing with management and reliable contact with probation officers, "Or, if we release these people back into the community and they cannot find a place to live, it’s very possible they could end up homeless, interacting with all kinds of individuals who may not have the most positive influence. And that person could be showing up in your neighborhood." Chang said, "I believe that the first scenario is a much better scenario for both public safety and for reintegrating people into our community."

Commissioner Tony DeBone agreed, "These are folks that have gone through an adjudicated system, been exposed to a lot of positive opportunities to move forward. So getting somebody landed in this environment is really a positive situation." He added, "I know it’s scary and awkward, but this is going to be the grounding place to really blossom new positive things."

DeBone believes it’ll also help the neighborhood, "This is an opportunity to improve the exterior and the landscaping and just the look and feel of that property, which could really be a beacon for the other properties in the area."

Commissioner Chang also noted there will be county oversight, "I would encourage anyone from that neighborhood who has concerns to contact the Community Justice Department to talk out in greater detail the supervision framework for these individuals."

The nonprofit Free on the Outside will own and operate the transitional housing facility for up to 50 people on supervised release. The property purchase is expected to close this week, with the site scheduled to open in early January. 


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