September 11, 2015

Doe Fund Fights Sex Offender Relocation To Its East Williamsburg Shelter

9-11-15 New York:

Management of an East Williamsburg homeless shelter says they would rather close the facility than make room for 50 sex offenders being sent there by New York City’s Department of Homeless Services.

Administrators from The Doe Fund, a nonprofit organization which independently owns and operates the Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity, believe the transfers to be level two and three sex offenders, classified by the state to be moderate to high risks for reoffending, respectively.

“DHS did not identify them as such, but we know that levels two and three are most likely to be homeless and in the system because of the legal restrictions imposed upon them,” says The Doe Fund’s director of external affairs, Alexander Horwitz.

Those legal restrictions include prohibitions outlawing certain sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of an area where children congregate. According to state law, sex offenders under parole or probation supervision, regardless of their risk level, are subject to residency restrictions if their victims were under the age of 18. Level three sex offenders on parole or probation, regardless of the age of their victims, also are subject to residency restrictions.

Due to the density of schools, parks and playgrounds in New York, these restrictions mean that many homeless sex offenders can legally reside at one of only 17 compliant shelters — a list that the Sharp Center, being more than 1,500 feet away from the nearest school (and three blocks from the Morgan L stop) found itself on for the first time in April.

The 400-bed Sharp Center is legally obligated to accept anyone referred to it by DHS if it has vacancies, but management says they are at capacity, and claims that this is the first time in the facility’s 12-year history that the department has attempted to forcibly move in sex offenders. ..Continue.. by Arvind Dilawar

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