Neighbors not told about halfway house

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This home in Milwaukie will become a halfway house, and neighbors are upset they weren't told, Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

MILWAUKIE, Ore. (KOIN) — In less than a week, the house two doors down from John Fox’s Milwaukie home will become a self-governed drug and alcohol halfway house. Fox and others in the neighborhood are upset they weren’t notified.

Leo Morley, who owns the home, recently decided to lease it to the Oxford House Recovery Organization. The home, perhaps ironically, is on Milwaukie’s Where Else Lane.

But neighbors said the quiet, family-oriented community is not the right setting for a halfway house. Fox said, on average, about 75% of the addicts in Oxford Homes have served jail time.

“Everybody deserves a second chance but the fact that there’s a possibility of re-offending where they could fall off the wagon so to speak, get back into alcohol and drugs, is a pretty high percentage,” Fox told KOIN 6 News. “Are those people down there criminals other than drugs and alcohol? Have they committed violent crimes?”

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In less than a week, the house two doors down from John Fox’s Milwaukie home will become a self-governed drug and alcohol halfway house. He talks to KOIN 6 News Sept. 10, 2013, about his concerns. (KOIN 6 News)

Morley said he decided to lease his home to the Oxford House after having several unsuccessful renters in the past. The “Rusty Ray House,” as it will be called, will have six people staying there.

“It’s an organization, so if I rent to them and there’s a problem I can call on the organization, so there’s a couple fall-backs as a landlord,” Morley said.

Oxford House does not allow sex offenders or arsonists to move in, he said, adding the home is a place for recovery.

Morley said he was going to tell the residents in the neighborhood but didn’t.

“I was going to do it two weeks ago, but no, I’m not renting to people who are strung up — but people who are trying to improve their lives.”

But Fox is not happy.

“There wasn’t an opportunity to say yes or no. The neighborhood was just sort of caught off guard.”

An informational meeting with the neighbors was held Tuesday night at Fox’s home. Representatives from the Milwaukie police and Oxford House were there.

An Oxford House resident spoke out Tuesday night, saying she has come a long way on her two-year road to recovery. Before Oxford, Casey Burley faced charges of “drug possession, unauthorized use of motor vehicle, and a firearms charge.”

Now, her recovery story is used as an Oxford testimonial — one of several given to this group of Milwaukie neighbors Tuesday night.

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