The old Kalamazoo Color Lab building in the Washington Square Edison Neighborhood in Kalamazoo is getting a re-birth, with a new diner being built in its' foundations. The helpful thing about a new place to eat in Washington Square, is that it's also providing help to those who are felony probationers, state parolees, Drug Treatment Court participants, SAI probationers and parolees, federal inmates, federal probationers, and clients who are currently on federal pre-trial status. Bill Patrick expressed his excitement for the new diner, saying: "This is a training ground restaurant for KPEP employees. I was one of the 1st contractors. I assure you it will be (as much of) a success as the KPEP Coffee shop on Walnut & Park. The business model works."

It's all apart of the KPEP, which began in the fall of 1980 to provide a live-in residence for those individuals who need more structure than regular probation provides, but where extended jail time is not judged necessary. The goal of KPEP is to show the residents that they can become independent, contributing members of society. The organization works closely with all aspects of the criminal justice system, including local law enforcement departments, corrections and probation departments, and various circuit court judges. No word yet on what the diner will serve.

This is nothing to be afraid of or to be feared, as the entire purpose of the KPEP is to give people a 2nd chance at having a normal life after moving on from a destructive lifestyle. Police presence is always involved with KPEP, which has three facilities in Kalamazoo.

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