Bend▶️ Bend transitional housing for felons, including sex crime felons, approved

▶️ Bend transitional housing for felons, including sex crime felons, approved

▶️ Bend transitional housing for felons, including sex crime felons, approved

▶️ Bend transitional housing for felons, including sex crime felons, approved

Deschutes County commissioners have approved a new transitional housing property in Southeast Bend. Some of those living there will be felons convicted of sex crimes.

“We did need a location that wasn’t like right next to a park or right next to a school,” said Deevy Holcomb, director of Deschutes County Community Justice.

That location is a triplex at 640 – 652 SE Wilson Avenue. Although it’s not right next to a park, it is about a block north of Kiwanis Park.

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Some offenders set to live at the location have requirements to stay away from places where kids gather. Holcomb says these properties are working.

“Providing people housing, stable housing, clean, safe housing is really one of the first and most important ways to actually help people take a turn for the better,” she said.

It will serve up to 50 individuals each year –10-to-15 at a time.

Neighbors were informed with a letter. Some are skeptical of recently released felons being right down the street, but Matt Gaye is optimistic.

“I think it can be successful. I think it needs to be monitored by the folks that are purchasing this rental unit to make sure that the success rate stays very high,” he said. “And location is a big part of it, you can’t stick people outside of town and expect them to commute into town to get back to work.”

Holcomb believes the services could help make the community safer.

“Having a parole and probation officer know exactly where you’re living, be able to come visit you, see you keep you on track if things start to go off, actually provides kind of an elevated level, we think, of public safety,” she said.

The house is managed by the Portland-based non-profit Free on the Outside.

With funding secured, new tenants under supervision could move in as early as January.

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