Who’s not worth saving from the storm?

We hold these truths . . . self-evident . . . created equal . . . certain unalienable rights . . . life, liberty . . .

By Sandy Rozek . . . We all know the words. We take them for granted. Yes, we know — some are rich, some poor; some are smart, some not so much; some sail through life as though on wings while others, feet mired in the mud, struggle to make it from one day to the next.

But still. We all have those certain unalienable rights, and chief among them is the right to life.

At times, holding on to that right seems impossible. When one is homeless, living on the street, sleeping in a doorway or on a park bench or, if lucky, in a car, that right to life is scratched and clawed from a society that, too often, just doesn’t care. And when the temperature drops to freezing and snow covers the park bench, when the doorway is iced over and every breath pierces the lungs with needles, that small, small element of society that still cares enough to open and maintain emergency, cold weather shelters is the only buffer between keeping life or losing it.

And even there that basic right to life is not so unalienable after all.

“No one is turned away,” said the soft-spoken voice at the community shelter in a small Oregon city in response to my question about those on sexual offense registries being accepted. After explaining that no ID is required, the man said that they believed that saving lives was more important than the past history of those who came to them in need.

Approximately 2,500 miles away, in an almost straight line all the way across the top of the map, another voice in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, gave the exact opposite answer. “No one on the Megan’s Law Registry will be admitted,” he said. No one. He was speaking of the United Way shelters in their county. When asked for alternate shelters where registrants would be accepted, he named one but wasn’t sure what county it was in.

In general, these extremes are valid examples for the rest of the country. East coast and middle east states tend to have policies for their cold weather emergency shelters that exclude those on the registry. Random shelters in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, and Illinois report screening individuals against the sexual offense registry before they are allowed in, and, with no discernible exceptions, rejecting those who are registered citizens. Some say they try to find them a place to go, but their low success rate can be heard in their voices.

Many, probably most, of Ohio’s shelters maintain the policy of not accepting registrants but in actual temporary, emergency situations, will make exceptions. A spokesperson for one that does not, when asked, said, “I do not know what they did during the time of the sub-zero temperatures.”

In general, shelters that are managed through the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and the United Way, appear to exclude everyone who is registered although there are exceptions.

All of Denver, Colorado’s four major shelters take registered individuals, even the one that is a Salvation Army shelter.

Moving further west, random shelters in Wyoming and Idaho report not having a blanket policy that excludes registrants but rather one that looks at each individual’s situation.

As far as meeting emergency weather needs, the west coast stands out as the most accepting of registrants. In addition to the example from Oregon above, the website of another Oregon county’s program states, “Severe weather shelters do not require identification or any other documentation. No one seeking shelter during severe weather will be turned away.”

A spokesperson for a shelter in Washington State also reported that no background checks were done and that everyone needing help was welcomed and admitted on an equal basis.

Random shelters in California report that they also do not do background checks or require identification before admitting those in need during weather emergencies. Exceptions exist, however, as noted in this blog post from several years ago about a shelter in California that rejected registrants with no exceptions.

It appears that these more accepting states have emergency services and shelters established by the county governments or, in some cases, by totally independent organizations and do not operate through the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, or the United Way. From all appearances, that makes a difference.

If this discrimination were done on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender or sexual preference, religious preference or lack of, political persuasion, handicap or deformity, or any of the myriad other characteristics that set us apart from each other, all it would take would be a phone call to the local newspaper to have the place swarming with media and civil rights advocates and specialized lobby groups, and the shelter and the churches and everyone involved would be knocking each other down to get to the microphone to apologize.

But registrants? Those whose names are on a public sex offender registry?

In today’s world, to too many people, “unalienable rights” are not for them.

Help us reach more people by Sharing or Liking this post.

Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

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    • #51641 Reply
      Sandy Rozek
      Sandy Rozek
      Admin

      We hold these truths . . . self-evident . . . created equal . . . certain unalienable rights . . . life, liberty . . . We all know the words. We take
      [See the full post at: Who’s not worth saving from the storm?]

    • #51642 Reply
      Avatar
      Glen

      Touching story. I can tell you, from personal experience, finding shelter in NC is not so easy

    • #51646 Reply
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      Mike

      DISCRIMINATION. That’s the word for it. It’s what is happening to our community.

      • #51653 Reply
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        Jim

        The usa government is the Master of Discrimination! Just be sure your not another country Discriminating against your people because the usa will come in and STOP your country from going against peoples rights at any cost. Not in your country! BUT ok in the usa. What a horrible, hypocritical country the usa has become for sure. Used to be proud but now embarrassed to be an American.

        • #51678 Reply
          Avatar
          WC_TN

          Our nation’s moral fiber has went down the tubes. When a state passes a law that will allow for the murder of a fully developed baby ready to be delivered or for the murder of a baby they didn’t successfully kill in utero and was born alive, that speaks volumes about the moral fiber of this nation. So when registrants are denied shelter from lethal weather, I’m not really shocked. I’m enraged, but not surprised.

          I think last year a registrant froze to death after he was denied shelter during lethal cold.

          I tend to want vengeance. I know it’s horrible to feel this way, but I’d really love to see the ones who ran the shelter who denied the man refuge from the cold, the local law enforcement and legislators all put outside bare-butt naked in the very weather this poor man died in and let them feel what it’s like to freeze to death and let them die. Let them die knowing someone found them so utterly worthless as a human being. Let their families feel the pain of needlessly losing a loved one. I guarantee you the man who froze to death had someone somewhere that loved him. He mattered to someone somewhere.

      • #51683 Reply
        Avatar
        WC_TN

        Discrimination indeed! However, we are not a protected class, therefore it’s open season and the lawmakers and judges sit there with a smug, s***-eating grin on their faces all the while. They’ll say “Yep! And there ain’t s*** you can do about it, sucker!”

      • #52067 Reply
        Avatar
        WC_TN

        What is most tragic AND ENRAGING is that this discrimination is encouraged and sanctioned by the government, the very ones vested with the solemn duty of protecting disfavored majorities from the tyranny of the majority. Our government abdicated that role long ago in favor of pandering to fear-based vote solicitation.

    • #51655 Reply
      Avatar
      Dustin

      I refuse to donate one single dime, item, or minute to either the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, or the United Way based on this policy.When solicited, I make a point of telling them that.

      Suggest all registrants and friends/family members of them do the same. As the registry grows, the number of non-registrants will grow faster. Eventually, all three organizations will have to revise their respective procedures.

    • #51654 Reply
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      James Coghill

      I want to embarrass all who would treat us as slaves. (Gandhi)

    • #51652 Reply
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      JZ

      Well written article shining a bright light on the hypocrisy of Amerikkka. I noticed you didn’t mention Floriduh. With it’s “scorched earth” policy, war has been declared on registered citizens who are turned away from shelters even during hurricanes. We are told to shelter at the jail. Why? Are we being arrested? Another “unintentional” consequence of being on the registry? Whoever thinks or believes the registry is not punishment is living in a fool’s paradise and doesn’t deserve to be a representative of ALL the people. I’m afraid it will take hundreds of thousands of people marching on Washington to make any difference in the minds of self-serving politicians and the cruel “American” public. Many of us won’t live long enough to see any victories in decades-long legal battles costing millions of dollars to overturn laws that were known to be unconstitutional before they were passed.

      • #51667 Reply
        Avatar
        Jill

        JZ
        Thank you. You sound like an intelligent man..a worthy person. A worthyman. Keep your head up and stay with your passion.
        You say it will take thousands marching on Washington…agreed. So get something going. Use what you got now.it’s like you are waking up to what fight you are willing to go all in on.
        Get going man.
        Jill
        Mother with a son on the registry.

        • #51676 Reply
          Avatar
          Baltimore

          I lived in Florida for 20 years before I went to prison. I know I’ll never be able to go back because if the hell the subject their ex-sex offenders to. I’d join JZ in that march in a heartbeat. Anyone else?

          • #51688 Reply
            Avatar
            Paul

            I’m with you on the march, guys. I know other people in my Fearless groups who would be there too. In case anyone doesn’t know, Fearless meetings are support groups for people living on the registry and our loved ones. I think they can be a great way to get grass-roots movements started that will protect our rights. Find out about them at: https://narsol.org/projects/support/fearless/

          • #51696 Reply
            Avatar
            Paul

            Sorry I’m new to these forums and just noticed that the moderator doesn’t want us to post links. So if you want to find out more about starting or joining a Fearless group, go to the top of this NARSOL page and hover over “Resources,” then scroll down to “Support” and you’ll see “Fearless Project.” I can’t recommend it highly enough. Real live people going through the same kinds of things you are, and you can talk in a safe, supportive environment. We also have expert speakers – lawyers, probation department directors, etc. – at our meetings who help us navigate life on the registry.

          • #51705 Reply
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            Stephen

            How do you find out if there are Fearless Groups in your area?

          • #51714 Reply
            Fred
            Fred
            Admin

            You can send us an email from the link on the bottom of this page and someone will get back to you.

          • #51712 Reply
            Fred
            Fred
            Admin

            Links to pages on NARSOL’s websites are okay.

      • #51697 Reply
        Sandy Rozek
        Sandy Rozek
        Admin

        I’m sure there are other states that belong in that list, including Florida. I only named states where I was actually able to speak to one or more shelters whose spokespersons verified the policy or states where I had a news item about a shelter stating that registrants were not accepted.

      • #51752 Reply
        Avatar
        Matthew

        JZ,

        Your right. Many of us already know that’ll it’ll probably take hundreds of thousands marching on DC to make a real change. Heck, it could help if we at least had hundreds of thousands lobbying and pressuring our law makers to reverse this damage they did.

        Problem though, I don’t think we have hundreds of thousands of regeristants that care. I’ve contacted 410 people at my own expense and only 1 cared. We are not united, and it feels like we’re discouraged to do so. I’ve contacted many groups that advocate for law changes but none of them want to help get the word out of the first website that’ll give us all a voice to speak and unite. My own states support system stopped answering my calls, text, and emails when I made the website service. Even though you have to live in the Dallas area to get help there. Territorial? Even my website name gets removed on here. The registries will get easier on the least of the offenders, mostly kids of the registry. But what about the rest of us? What I made, I did for everyone. But it’ll die out because we’re meant to be isolated?

        • #51845 Reply
          Avatar
          Registered notoffender

          Just because someone is afraid to go out in public doesn’t mean that they don’t care remember that there some of us who are on probation or parole, there are some of us who are not publicly listed and live in fear. Many of us simply don’t have the means to travel, don’t assume because someone is not an activist that they are not supportive of the cause.

    • #51649 Reply
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      Donna

      Stories like these are heart wrenching. I pray for the day when all people know what we know and stive to rectify their actions.

      • #51662 Reply
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        David

        So, in some states we, even though American citizens, are turned away and left to die cold and alone based on some false statement a psychologist made years ago that he later recanted.

    • #51661 Reply
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      Larry

      you can add Catholic Charities to that list

    • #51665 Reply
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      Mike

      These so-called Christian based shelter who claim to do Gods work sure missed the boat when they deny registered sex offenders because if they were following Christ then they truly would let all come in because Jesus died died for ALL not all except criminals, do you realize people like Jeffrey Domer n Charles Manson can be in heaven as we speak, so you you might want to go back to church and reread your bible if you have one, may God bless you

      • #51672 Reply
        Charlie
        Charlie

        Hi Mike, I agree, Christian organizations should not be so hypocritical. Nevertheless, they, like so many others, are prone to politcally correct policy making. I worked as an associate pastor and can tell you, there is a strong movement to “educate” churches on the supposed threat they face (litigation) if they allow a sex offender to roam free within their walls. The fear mongers tell church leaders that one allegation can take them down. So the philosophy has become, “better one should perish than risk us all” which is, of course, contrary to Jesus and his telling of how the sheppard will leave the flock to save the one lost sheep. America has diluted the role of the Church to a social club, rather than a missionary work. We can thank lawyers, activists, and politicians once more for helping to place fear above love and logic.
        I personally simply refuse to join a church body now, despite being licensed and ordained. Being Christian has to stand for something, and it is supposed to start with rescuing the lost, not the sanctity of an organization. There are places where good work is still being done. But you have to seek it out. If you can’t find it, do like I did and start a ministry yourself. We are not prevented from doing so, despite what some would argue. Charlie

        • #51686 Reply
          Avatar
          WC_TN

          Charlie,

          I am a Christian, although I still daily sin and fall short. I am a member of the Church of Christ (not LDS, just the Church of Christ). My church family has been so very accepting of me. They all know what I did. I grew up there. I follow my rules about never being alone with a child. I limit my interactions with the children and what little interaction I have is right there in the immediate presence of other adults who can see every action and hear all that is said. I truly believe that if I was to still be unemployed after my parents die, church members who did not have kids would not let me become homeless. I truly believe I’d have a place to stay, food to eat and clothes on my back.

          • #51715 Reply
            Charlie
            Charlie
            Moderator

            @WC
            I am glad you found a church home. And I know there are true Christians out there. I haven’t given up in God, and definitely believe in an Acts 2 focused Church. But local churches are so inculcated with pop culture they are blind to their mission drift.
            My wonderful church home was so welcoming and nurturing, and I served there for years, was on staff as the Executive Pastor, church counselor, and the Senior Pastor’s mentor and confidant.
            Yet, when an anonymous vigilante called and scared him he threw me right under the bus. It was more important to him to protect has “ministry” from harm than to protect his friend and co-worker. He orchestrated a turn against me by the elders in the church, after consulting with an attorney who naturally warned him about liability.
            and it is very true that a brief Google search will bring up all kinds of instructive information about protecting the church from liability when a sex offender chooses to attend. what frustrated me about organized religion was the need to preserve turf and jobs. It’s a numbers game, not necessarily because it’s wrongly intended, but because without sufficient numbers there’s not enough money to pay the overhead for most churches. Churches have become businesses that have to support themselves. And I do not have object to the idea that you must keep the lights on and pay the rent in order to provide services. That just makes sense. But sometimes the need to keep the lights on is more than just keeping lights on. Sometimes it’s an empire being built, other times it is a works of man project that is self-aggrandizing.
            as a result of this heartbreaking event in my life, I went back to God and asked him what am I doing wrong? I believe that I was pointed in the direction of continued Ministry and therefore began bootstrapping a nonprofit of my own. I have worked tirelessly for 5 years with no pay oh, and I made sure that we keep the lights on, but I do not compromise service. I offer a Christian Counseling service. We make a cash pay for those who can pay, and make it cheaper than anything else they’re going to find in the area. And the cash that they pay allows me to do benevolence counseling, free counseling or sliding scale. This is my way of serving in the kingdom. And it’s not organized religion it is Faith. I know it any minute someone can walk in and try to destroy me and everything I’ve done simply because I am on the registry.
            however, in the five years I’ve been doing this I’ve only had two clients who have discovered the “horrible truth” about me. one chose not to begin counseling the other one chose to leave counseling. I found out later the one that left was encouraged to reject me by an internet is working for me. He was your quintessential pot-stirrer. He liked to create conflict. Eventually it backfired on him and he lost his internship because the Christian University I was taking these interns from jumped on the politically correct bandwagon as well.
            Well I don’t get paid, I now have seven people working in this ministry. There are ones that get paid, and wants to do not. It’s about a 50-50 mix. I know that at any time somebody could call the local news and embarrass me royally. But with 86 current clients who have gotten to know me, I doubt that I would be completely obliterated this time around. And I’ll continue to serve. Salvation army, and all the rest, can have their empires. I choose to serve those who are the least of these, because I too and one of the least of these. So it helps me keep my perspective.

          • #52124 Reply
            Avatar
            David

            @ Charlie Moderator.
            Hi Charlie. I had the same thing happen to me.
            I was the leader of the announcements ministry and also a leader in the movie ministry once a month and did this for years, until someone looked me up and blew the whistle.
            After years of worship and Holy Spirit filled ministry before everyone there, I was approached and then asked to sign papers stating I would not get involved with children which really offended me. The ministry I was in didn’t even involve children or minors.
            The Pastor said I needed to ask people to let me prove myself( this was after 5 years of worship there ) and tell people I had sinned. I told him I am not going to dig up that old man and I am not going to sign papers after all these years. I said “Jesus doesn’t use perfect people to preach the gospel,
            He uses people like Matthew, the tax collector who was the most despised among all his people because he was considered a traitor, and people like me who found great salvation and was rescued from a horrible life of sin.”
            Then I found out that some of the women there were now afraid of me who throughout the years I was there before didn’t think twice about talking to me.
            Unfortunately, I had to leave to save myself from shame and possible scrutiny.
            I am deeply, deeply grieved over this. They all should have rejoiced that God snatched me from the fire, but instead I was met by some with reproach, fear, and recounting sin from over 20 years ago. It’s horrible, Charlie. Horrible!!
            Praise God I found another place to worship where I was immediately accepted, and the Pastor got somewhat angry at what I told him had happened.
            When the Church lets the judgement of society in and throws the love of God and forgiveness off to the side, it no longer is a sanctuary.
            When the Church places criteria on its ministry it is no longer allowing the Holy Spirit of God to place people in leadership. Jesus just said “Follow Me”.
            Jesus didn’t come to save the righteous, but the lost. He didn’t come for those who were well, but those who are sick, and when Jesus sets you free, you are free indeed!
            A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
            They should have known after all those years I was no threat to anyone and a true worshiper of God and should have continued to see the new man Jesus made me, but instead the new man was thrown to the curb by some, and the old man was brought back to life when it became known I was on the registry. How sad. How very sad.

          • #52137 Reply
            Charlie
            Charlie
            Moderator

            Hi David, sounds like you slayed your Goliath indeed. Your argument is spot on, and those who judged you inappropriately will one day answer. I’m so glad you found a new church home with a pastor who is acting like a pastor should. IMHO, all pastors should be a Barnabas, championing the redeemed before the Church and restoring them to right standing and fellowship. It grieves me to watch the majority of churches succumb to the sin of unrighteous judgment based on self aggrandizement and false piety. They are demonstrating the same attitude if bullying that is seen in prison; by hating the sex offender, they believe they elevate their own sinful selves above him or her. It’s a sad day when the church legitimizes such behavior by ignoring, or worse, by codifying such behavior into church policy.

        • #51687 Reply
          Avatar
          WC_TN

          Even if the Church itself cannot provide shelter, why wouldn’t a male member with no kids in the house be able to take such a person in for the night and feed them, let them bathe and maybe even wash their clothes? Are we so selfish even as supposed Christians that we won’t even do that? Why couldn’t the church reach out to any of its several members who no longer have kids at home and see if any one of them would take the person in for the night? The church could provide the host family with money from the church treasury to buy the man’s food.

          • #51797 Reply
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            Mr.A

            You know, anyone can take in a homeless person for the night.

      • #51682 Reply
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        WC_TN

        Any TRUE CHRISTIAN would gladly face prosecution for doing God’s work. The Apostles took beatings and all but one were martyred for their faith. So-called Christians today are by far and large shallow and outright counterfeits. Whatever happened to people who counted it a BLESSING to suffer for the cause of Christ? I guarantee you if Jesus ran a shelter, HE would not turn away registrants because HE came to seek and save the lost. Jesus ate with the social pariahs of his day….Publicans, the tax collectors.

        • #51798 Reply
          Avatar
          Mr.A

          Heck man, the whole “throw the first stone” story concerns Jesus standing up for a sex offender!

          My minister on the outside visited me while I was in prison, and accepted my meager tithes @ 17¢ an hour, and even promised me that my wife and I could attend when I was released…
          Two out of three ain’t bad!
          We’ll never again attend another church or refer to ourselves as “Christians”.

    • #51674 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      Folks I hate to say this but seems someone’s not strong, bold, and positive. I use to be down in the pitty pot over this but things happen. Yes as Sandy quoted we are all created equal and yes we have a conscience. I wonder if anyone knows who is in full control in a lot of this sexual deception or this discrimination or this outcasting of man. I hope we are not following the leader. I think government has enough trouble as it is. These laws they pass are a lot of man’s pride.

      Is this sex offender thing full of uncertainty’s or tormoil. Is all this a conflict of man over man or as one person here keeps talking about data and all that stuff. I hope we all have a birth certificate isn’t that data enough. Sure the poor will always be with us but working on one problem at this time sounds like man is not being created equal. One would appear to thave this mind bending game over the other, and the other ordeal appears to have a physical element to it. Now when someone overrides one’s conscience than thats playing the devil.

      So is that being created equal? The other element is the physical and that can be a whole different gamet. So where does the common discord come in when law enforcments or the government use the sword in vain. Circumatances happen. Did one ever think who is doing the evil and who is being wicked, Who is being deceitful and who is foaming at the mouth. Actually we are created equal or maybe someone needs to read the good book. I guess we all have a deceitful heart but when ministers of justice go bad who takes the fall in this devilish game. I wonder who trust who today. I wonder who violates their very nature today.

      I believe says, where there is no vision the people parish.

    • #51675 Reply
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      Tim on Wisconsin

      Not a shred of affirmative disability in the databases intent right Mr. Scalia?

      • #51695 Reply
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        WC_TN

        Oh, there are PUH-LENTY affirmative disabilities written into the sex offender registry of today. The old SCOTUS ruling on the original 1st generation Alaska S.O.R. is totally irrelevant today because today’s registry bears no resemblance whatsoever to the registry the court considered in that first ruling for the constitutionality of that registry. There were no residency restrictions, work restrictions or restrictions on one’s freedom of association.

        As I understand the laws today (someone correct me if I’m wrong) if a family allows a child-oriented registrant to come into their home and be around their kids, the state could and would come in and charge said family with endangering the welfare of a child.

        • #51719 Reply
          Avatar
          Timothy

          Always was electronic indentured servitude right from the very conception and the court understood it completely. The people’s need for the database machine outweighs need for human decency and dignity.
          Mr. Roberts is a fool to suggest a nation established OF FOR AND BY ALL OF THE PEOPLE could sustain MN>HN = NULL for some of the people!

          Free Men are paid wages to maintain machines, administrative or else.

        • #51799 Reply
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          Mr.A

          There are NO limits to what a state could do.

    • #51684 Reply
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      Mike Woodall

      Sandy,
      Another great article my friend. Masterfully written.
      Great job.
      MikeWoodall.net

      • #51698 Reply
        Sandy Rozek
        Sandy Rozek
        Admin

        Thank you, Mike.

    • #51699 Reply
      Avatar
      Constitutional Bill

      Thanks Sandy, you’ve written another great article.
      I found out in prison that the Salvation Army and Red Cross would not accept sex offenders. I did not know that about the United Way. It was shocking to find that out about the Salvation Army. They need to start working on their own salvation.
      I’ve never cared for the Red Cross because of my medical background I know how much money they make off a pint a blood. I knew too many people when I was in service that
      The Red Cross denied help. I’ve never donated to the United Way knowing that less than 80% of donated funds actually make it to the needy.
      Thanks Mr. Coghill. I had forgotten that The Mahatma had said that.
      Like you Charlie I have given up on organized religion. I so miss taking communion but refuse to support publicly or financially the ONE organization that should have defended my religious rights but failed to do so. If you do a few searches on line you will soon discover a plethora of courses offered to churches on how to deal with sex offenders.
      Tim on Wisconsin is dead on with his Scalia quote. The “great, so called Constitutionalist”. But what can you expect from anyone who thinks that, “Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.”

    • #51707 Reply
      Avatar
      S_G

      I live in Pa. and am appalled by the Homeless shelter in Westmoreland County.
      As far as I know, as a 10 year (previously Tier 1) Offender, I have very few restrictions living in PA. if any??
      I am allowed to take my son to his daycare / Pre-school (They are aware of my offense and do not treat me any differently than the other parents). I live within a 1/4 of a mile from the center. And there are handful of other centers / schools well within a mile of my residence.
      I go on normal vacations though always <7 days to prevent having to make additional updates.
      I take my son to Parks, Amusement Parks, Water Parks and everywhere else parents take their children without concern.

      I know in other states I would not have been so lucky. This is why hearing about the Homeless shelter so close to home really strikes me. It is a shame they can get away with such inhumane practices.
      I really appreciate everything NARSOL and it’s affiliates are doing to change this inhumanity.

      • #51718 Reply
        Sandy Rozek
        Sandy Rozek
        Admin

        Are you on the Megan’s Law (public) registry? If not, you should have no difficulty being accepted at any emergency shelter.
        Today I contacted the place alluded to by the man at the Westmoreland Co. shelter, and I was misinformed. That organization is a service organization for the homeless to help them rejoin society. It does not operate an emergency weather shelter.

        • #51721 Reply
          Avatar
          S_G

          Yes, I am on the Megan’s law public registry.
          I am glad to hear you were misinformed about the shelter.
          I honestly hope I never need to go to a shelter of any kind, but when I read the article, as a resident of PA, it really hit home.
          It’s the other states I really worry about. For example, As much as I would like to take my son to Disney, Florida is the one state I have no intention of going to. Until I am off the registry in 5 years.
          So we always do our homework before we go out of state for any extended length of time.

          • #51728 Reply
            Sandy Rozek
            Sandy Rozek
            Admin

            I am wondering if you misunderstood what I said. The United Way shelter in Westmoreland County does not accept anyone who is on the Megan’s Law registry nor do other United Way shelters in PA, according to the person with whom I spoke. When asked where registered persons might go in an emergency, the person with whom I was speaking named a shelter in another county and said they would take them.

            I called that other shelter to verify this and was told that they do not operate an emergency cold weather shelter. That is what I was misinformed about, that they did operate such a shelter and would accept those on the registry.

          • #51740 Reply
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            S_G

            Yeah, Completely misunderstood.
            Sad to hear that.

      • #52073 Reply
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        Timothy

        SG,
        Nice to hear your story of liberty not oppressed.
        Unfortunately some do not benefit from equal protection.

    • #51706 Reply
      Avatar
      WearethePeople

      Sandy your article hit home. You said that my state rejected sex offenders from shelters. You also said that the places like the Salvation Army turned their backs on just the people labeled as sex offenders. No other group or person was discriminated against. You said a lot, and yes if it was any other group that had been turned away there would have been a up roar of the media, and people who were of the same. So why was there no noise? I know that each day as I watch the news we add more to this list. The numbers are getting up there but when you look at how many people are on this list it says 800,000 not changed from 7 years ago. Good article Sandy! I was upset when I heard the news, yes I heard that they were not being accepted, and I wondered where did they have to go. My first thought was to the police department like at Halloween. Maybe we can find a place that would be willing to do so that this does not happen again. If the churches and the organizations that we thought were there to help are not. Maybe the Police Stations or Court houses can house them. The thing is no human being should be left behind. In Pa we have the Libre’s Law that protect animals. We need comprehensive Laws that protect Humane from discrimination. Your article points directly at the discrimination of human beings. With the weather the way it was no one should have been turned away!

    • #51704 Reply
      Avatar
      Connie

      Thank you for writing this eye opening article. I had no idea there was so much punishment involved with the sor till I met my husband; 20 years for wearing shorts without underwear and visually offending 2 adult women. Now we cannot sell our home and move to any decent senior housing because of the OSOR. Thank God we still have our home. I pray the public becomes aware of the truth about the SOR.

    • #51724 Reply
      Avatar
      N Brown

      I wonder if any registrants on disability have approached it from that angle. Can they refuse a bipolar offender who is on federal disability I wonder?

    • #51725 Reply
      Avatar
      Matthew

      Sandy, I agree that all are worth saving. The only thing is, they have to want to be saved. They have to want to stand together, unite, and make the differences.

      I’ve seen too many times, people saying that we need to come together. And that we need a way to do it.

      So I created a free website with a social network structure that is exclusive for people like us. A way to come together instead of being divided. But no one was interested.

      410 letters mailed out, only 1 signed up. Narsol and Texas Voices stopped acknowledging my emails when I made it. No support, I footed the bill and made it happen because I believe we need to be able to come together.

      Honestly, now I’m discouraged.

      • #51748 Reply
        Sandy Rozek
        Sandy Rozek
        Admin

        Matthew, we understand how you feel. Quite honestly, we often feel the same.

        Several of us deal with emails and correspondence, so I am unsure what email exchanges with you have transpired or when or why they stopped. I do know that NARSOL’s funds, which, except for Digest subscriptions and memberships, are from donations, are a trust that we take very seriously. They are generally donated for a specific purpose, e.g., conference expenses, legal initiatives, educational materials, etc., and we feel honor-bound to use them as designated. We often receive requests for help from various people for various projects, and as an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, we have consistently decided that we must continue using our resources in such a way as to honor those who donated them as well as in such a way as to benefit the greatest number of people possible.

        We hope that your website finds success and that you continue your support of our very worthwhile advocacy.

        • #51751 Reply
          Avatar
          Matthew

          Thanks for the good wishes, I’m not going to give up anytime soon at least. 🙂

          It wasn’t about getting financial help from anyone though, I accepted that responsibility and have no regrets there. I felt blessed to finally have enough money to be able to do something and I’ll keep trying until I run out and can’t keep it online.

          I’m just one guy, kinda tech savvy but clueless really on how to reach people. Only way I could figure was mailing letters out, but pretty sure most went into the trash. That’s where my discouragement came from. I was hoping for some kind of advice from Narsol or Texas Voices on how to reach the ones that would want to be a part of it, because ya’ll are just about the only support we have in Texas.

          • #51759 Reply
            Sandy Rozek
            Sandy Rozek
            Admin

            Have you talked up your website on Twitter? That might help. We haven’t found the magic key either to getting responses.

          • #51761 Reply
            Avatar
            Matthew

            I wasn’t aware we can talk about these things on Twitter. I’ve been told that twitter, as well as Facebook and other social media’s, ban your account if you are found to be an SO or doing anything to help them. Does Narsol have a Twitter page that’s allowed?

            Honestly, it would help if I were allowed to talk about it here, and someone in Narsol look it over to see how much it can help, and all the time and thought I put into it to ensure it’s safe but still fully functional for social networking, operating as a non profit type of thing. This is something many of us realize we need. A way to come together.

          • #51764 Reply
            Sandy Rozek
            Sandy Rozek
            Admin

            NARSOL has a Twitter page. You can access it through the Twitter symbol on the home page of this site. You should also be able to have your own Twitter account.

    • #51749 Reply
      Avatar
      George S

      That is so ridiculous, they won’t SO’s but they do accept drug dealers and users! I live in Syracuse, NY and they have the Rescue Mission (and to their credit, they do accept SO’s), it seems that most of the people there have drug issues, and cause of that there is all sorts of problems. They have the Onondaga Sheriffs over there all the time, they have at least one officer there during the day to make sure nothing happens and always have an officer in the dining hall because of all the problems! There have been a couple of stabbings there, well near there, and at least one ambulance a day is there cause of drug overdoses. In fact, there was an article in some newspaper, is online, called “Spike Nation” about the drug epidemic in Syracuse with the Spike (or some call it Spice), you see people all the time near the Rescue Mission trying to sell that filth! And they worry about the SO’s, you don’t see them near the Mission trying to commit sex crims but you do see drug dealers trying to sell drugs there, so who is worse? But still, drug addicts still get all the breaks while SO’s don’t and the recidivism rate for a drug dealer\user, is more than 5 times that of an SO.

    • #51750 Reply
      Avatar
      Alvin C

      In regards to shelters in cold weather: the one here in Stillwater, OK, does not allow sex offenders or those with crimes of violence under any conditions, period. In regards to churches, there are no church run shelters here or by Salvation Army, or Red Cross. But, many churches are accepting of SO who wish to attend services. The rules require a written correspondence from the leaders of said churches, stating they are aware of the charges and restrictions. This has to be on file with the authority in charge, either city or county.

      The most difficult thing here is everyday housing for homeless sex offenders. Either the housing is not affordable, or landlords refuse to rent to them (me). At times it is a matter of access to public transportation that make it unsuitable to find a place.

      Narsol, keep the pressure on authorities to make changes.

    • #51796 Reply
      Avatar
      aurelius

      Here’s a cold reminder: The Constitution is just a piece of paper. Without strong leaders to enforce that piece of paper and the letters written on it, it’s rather meaningless. Sorry for the black pill, but the more people see things as they really are, the more people can make a difference.

    • #51809 Reply
      Avatar
      d

      Answer: The people who make laws to make discrimination for any reason legal.

    • #52151 Reply
      Avatar
      Saddles

      Seems like there is a storm of controversy in this sex registry ordeal. I wonder where Judge not or you will be Judged comes into play with all this play in motion. Who is testing who in this dirty game of hashtaging for dollars.

      I was always under the impression that a crime is a physical thing. Sure protecting and serving is one thing but inducing and who is seducing ones’ conscience is another. or are we all being duped in a lot of this. I just wonder if the flesh is weak or should we ask Samson. While a lot of this sex registry is a Storm its more or less of a snowjob to dupe others. So where is the true Justice come in or should we all be sinners?

      Are police actually saving life’s by this or protecting in these fictitious schemes?

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