New Prineville homeless shelter site sparks debate

Some nearby businesses, neighbors unhappy

Prineville homeless shelter

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The site for a new Prineville homeless shelter has been chosen, off Highway 26 on the northwest side of the city. But it already is stirring criticism.


Ken Fahlgren of the Crook County Public Safety Coordinating Council said Thursday the shelter is being put in place to help replace an old shelter that was torn down to make room for the new jail.


"Without a men's shelter we have  need for something in our community," Fahlgren said. "I'm looking forward to building and creating that new space, and that's the proposal right now."


The area's homeless population has been on the rise in recent years.


"Well, every year we have the homeless count in the middle of winter and it just keeps increasing," Fahlgren said. "This last year, I believe it was increased by over 30 percent."


While this new homeless shelter would help combat a growing issue in Central Oregon, some neighbors are not too thrilled about its location. 


"It's important to have folks who really need a place to be," Fahlgren said. "To be ready to change their lives and help them to find services"


St. Vincent De Paul of Crook County has put in a city application for a shelter on the property. It is funding the project with private donations and grants.


Several neighboring businesses and residents said they are not happy about the shelter going in and fear it might diminish property values.

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