Oregon City neighbors concerned about felons and sex offenders moving into nearby home

Neighbors of this house in Oregon City are concerned that sex offenders and felons will live here. (KATU Photo)

Neighbors are concerned about a home they’ve been told will be a halfway house for felons and sex offenders in Oregon City.

The home is located on Roosevelt Street near Molalla Avenue.

Cody Howell, who lives two doors down, said he learned a group called Free on the Outside would be managing the group home. He said the site manager told him felons would be living there.

"He couldn't guarantee to me he wasn't going to place sex offenders inside the house," Howell said.

The neighborhood has 19 children, including children with special needs, he said.

"If a sex offender re-offends, that's going to damage someone's life for the rest of it, and I can't have that being one of my kids," he said.

KATU News reached out to Mike Cross with Free on the Outside. He said the group leased the property for a "sober living house." He said nine people would live there.

"There are sober living houses all over Oregon. It's a safe, clean environment for people in recovery," he said.

The group, he said, runs similar homes around the Portland area, but would not specify where.

Cross said the organization vets the people who live in the homes and said they must remain sober.

"They have to have at least a year out of prison before they come to our house. They have to do well on supervision," he said.

When asked by KATU News if registered sex offenders would be living on the property, Cross said no "high risk" offenders would be.

The city of Oregon City said it was investigating for possible code violations. The investigation started on Feb. 5.

"Potential construction without proper permitting and a possible land use change were cited complaints. Per City’s policy, notices were sent to the property owner and the City is awaiting a response to both complaints," the city said in a statement.

Cross said he did not think the organization was violating city codes or ordinances.

KATU News also reached out to the Oregon City Police. Capt. Shaun Davis said neighbors have asked for extra patrols in the area.

"Halfway houses aren’t illegal, and there are several operating in Oregon City. We have heard there could be sex offenders moving in; however, we have no information on who might be moving in. No sex offenders have registered an address change to this address in the last 60 days," Davis told KATU News in an email.

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