Olmsted officials concerned about lack of housing for released inmatesby Sea Stachura, Minnesota Public Radio
Rochester, Minn. — Olmsted county officials said they are concerned that a large number of recently released inmates may end up homeless this year.
Olmsted County board member Judy Ohly said the county expects about 200 inmates to be released into the county this year. She said the number of beds available to these people has shrunk. In addition, getting housing from the private sector is very difficult, because people don't want to live next to criminals.
"These folks are folks that need to be supervised. And if they don't have a home how can you find them? How can you supervise them? It's more dangerous for the community to have them not housed," said Ohly.
One developer was proposing a new 30 to 60 bed facility in southern Rochester. The facility could also provide jobs for residents. The county may also buy a downtown motel that could be rehabilitated to shelter about 50 former inmates on a short-term basis.