Reply To: Give me your cold and homeless — but not your cold, homeless sex offenders


Arie Van Der Weide

The topic of discussion brings my memory back to January of 2009 when there was an article in the Grand Rapids Press
( Grand Rapids MI ) by Tom Rademacher, a columnist that was known for writing articles on people of interest in the area,
wrote a column about a homeless man that froze to death on the streets after being turned away from a local shelter in GR MI (” God’s Kitchen” was the name of the shelter I believe…….or else Mel Trotter ministries ). The man was a registered sex offender and by policy was excluded from staying there…..I believe because of a Catholic school located close by. The temperatures were near zero degrees. The next day in the paper there was an editorial from a man whose kid attended the nearby parochial school who essentially said “good riddance”.
The article was memorable to me as I was reading the article from my jail cell, wondering what life was going to be like
when I got out as a RSO. I’ve met a lot of good people that are registered citizens…….people like me who have made some very selfish and foolish decisions in the past……but now are some of the best people you can meet……and whom I would welcome as neighbors any day.
Arie Van Der Weide DO