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Past DAWNS House resident says she, other women experienced assault, harassment and poor living conditions

(Update: Adding video, comments from resident)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- A former resident who lived at DAWNS House is recounting her challenging time in the sober living community. Amanda Dziak lived in the home with her then-2-month-old baby and tells us she and many other residents knew about the alleged embezzlement by founder Dawn Holland for months.

The Bend nonprofit helps women recover from addiction and sobriety issues. Holland was arrested last week at Bend Police headquarters on an outstanding warrant charging her with 10 counts of first-degree theft, Class B felonies, accused of stealing over $300,000 from the organization since 2019. She was released on 10 percent of $50,000 bail and is due in court for arraignment on May 30.

"DAWNS House made me not trust sober living places anymore," Dziak said.

She had emailed NewsChannel 21 last year, accusing founder Dawn Holland of embezzlement.

"She would get donations of phones and gift cards and things from, I'm assuming people in the community that wanted to help women. She would just sell them to make money," Dziak said Tuesday.

Dziak told NewsChannel 21 that the house was in poor condition, saying sometimes she and others would go weeks without a working shower or toilet.

The nonprofit owns three homes in Bend, accommodating up to 15 women being treated for drug and alcohol addiction. All but one are now closed.

"We were attacked by Dawn," Dziak claimed. "We had her, you know, just constantly coming over to the house and, like, harassing us, saying horrible things to us."

Dziak does credit the nonprofit with helping her recover from alcohol addiction.

But she added, "Dawn really broke it for a lot of us women there to trust those things any more."

We contacted DAWNS House and the executive director said she was unable to consent to an interview because of the police investigation. Virginia Schweizer did email a statement saying Dawn Holland was fired in July of 2023, and shortly after the organization discovered issues in financial statements. 

She also reached out by phone to question the credibility of Amanda Dziak's claims.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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Isabella Warren

Isabella Warren is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Isabellahere.


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