Clare County Veterans Shelter Now Housing Parolees

New details are surfacing about a homeless veterans’ shelter in Clare.

It turns out they’re not just housing those who served our country. We first told you about the new veteran’s shelter over the summer.

Michigan Department of Correction documents show that Oakbridge Inn is now housing parolees, not just veterans.

The shelter is on Clare Avenue just off US 127 in Clare.

9&10’s Lynsey Mukomel found out why the shelter is changing their direction and why no one in Clare seemed to know about it.

“We have a lot of space here, and we figured,they approached us about using it, we’ll give it a shot and we’ll try it,” says Paul Bailey, American Legion Post 404 finance officer.

Oakbridge Inn Veterans Shelter opened under the mission that they would only serve veterans, but documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show they’ve expanded.

An agreement with the Michigan Works! Prisoner Reentry Program means parolees can now share the building with veterans.

A complete surprise to the American Legion in Harrison.

 “Come to find out that they’re gonna have parolees come in there. They didn’t even tell us about it, it was all new to us,” says Bailey.

The American Legion says they worked with Oakbridge before they opened, always under the impression they would only house vets.

“Kinda frustrating, because there wasn’t communication. At first they were all about the veterans, and now they snuck this in and it was kinda a surprise on all of us,” explains Bailey.

Oakbridge Inn says parolees will only stay in the south wing of the building, and won’t have the same care veterans get.

 “We’re not responsible for food, they do not interact with the veterans, as far as any donations of food that are specifically for vets, clothing for vets, anything like that they don’t use, the great room the veterans use its a total separate area,” says David Homan, executive director at Oakbridge Inn.

Despite not notifying the community, Oakbridge says their number one priority is still veterans.

“I would apologize to the community if there’s been misinformation out there. We’re new at this, and we certainly not wanted to offend anyone in anyway, but we also have not changed our focus,” says Dave. “Everything we publish is veteran-oriented and will remain veteran-oriented,” says Homan.

Clare County Sheriff John Wilson says he is now aware of the fact Oakbridge will house parolees as well as veterans.

He says he plans to keep an eye on the facility.