Sunday, June 13, 2010

A safe homeless shelter?

Good Samaritan Home, Inc. has a homeless shelter called "The Fitzpatrick House" located at 451 East Third Street in Greenville. The Fitzpatrick House is half of a double, the other half being 449 East Third Street. While the Fitzpatrick House is a designated as a homeless shelter, the other half of the building is apparently dedicated to housing recent parolees (as indicated in the December 2009 newsletter for the Good Samaritan Home):

First Transitional House. Our first step was to renovate the apartment in the unfinished half of our shelter. With the help of committee volunteers and a host of supporters who donated endless days of labor, furniture, appliances and even curtains, this spring we added 1,400 sf where we can now house four men to live up to one year at just a fraction of what they would pay on their own.

On its website, Good Samaritan Home describes it Fitzpatrick House homeless shelter as a "safe" refuge for families:

... two years ago we bought a 100-year-old apartment building across the street from Good Samaritan Home and remodeled it to be used as a homeless shelter - now called Fitzpatrick House — so we could offer a safe place to anyone in need.

The December 2009 newsletter refers to the housing need "especially for women and children," and the website gives several examples in which families and children were helped by the Fitzpatrick House.

There is no way to determine exactly who is living at 449 East Third, because only the sex offenders' location is a matter of public record (the non-sex-offending felons do not have public reporting requirements).

As of June 12, the Darke County Sheriff's website indicates two sex offenders reside at 449 East Third Street. One of the offenders (H.D.) committed his crimes out-of-state, but he is a Tier II sex offender with a female child victim. The other resident of 449 East Third (J.P.) was convicted of attempted rape in Van Wert County. His victim is listed as a female child. Ohio prison  records show that J.P. served a little over 12 years in the London Correctional Facility before being released in April 2009.

Further, the Sheriff's records indicate another sex offender actually living in the Fitzpatrick House. As of June 12, offender W.S. is listed as residing at 451 East Third Street. Ohio prison records indicate that W.S. was convicted of rape and abduction in Clinton County. W.S. served a few days shy of 9 years at the Madison Correctional Facility, prior to his release in May 2009.

A few exit questions:

  • Is it smart to have convicted sex offenders in and near a homeless shelter for families, women, and children?
  • Why not just dedicate the entire building to helping the homeless?
  • In fact, if helping the homeless is so important, why not just make all the properties homeless shelters, and eliminate the out-of-county felons and sex offenders?

These questions and more will be discussed at the Citizens4Change Town Hall Meeting - Saturday, June 19, 2010, at 10:00 A.M. - Greenville City Park Shelter House #3.

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