Monday, September 28, 2009

Homeless Ga. Sex Offenders Directed to Woods, and the Others That Have No Where Else to Go

"A small group of homeless sex offenders have been ordered to move from a makeshift camp in a densely behind a suburban office park...directed there by probation officers who say it's a place of last resort for those with nowhere else to go."

All together now...wah wah wah. Poor old sex offenders...have to live a rough life in the woods like animals! My bleeding liberal heart just breaks for them.

They should consider themselves lucky to not be locked up somewhere. If they willfully sexually violated a minor, then tough shit if they are having a hard time finding a place to live.

"It's kind of like a mind-game, it's like 'Survivor,'" said William Hawkins, a 34-year-old who said he was directed to the campsite two weeks ago after being released from prison for violating probation by failing to register as a sex offender in Georgia."

See that? Not only is William Hawkins a sex offender, he violated his probation by failing to register. Can you say "dumbass"? And quite honestly, what did he hope to gain by giving his name to the reporter?

"It's not the only place in Cobb County where offenders can live — there are hundreds of other sex offenders throughout the county living in compliance with the law. But Ahmed Holt, manager of the state's sex offender administration unit, calls the camp a "last resort" for homeless offenders who can't find another place to live that complies with the law."

"The outpost illustrates the unique dilemma the law creates for homeless sex offenders, who unlike other homeless people, cannot take shelter in a church or curl up in a park because they are barred from both...
[Sarah Geraghty, an attorney with the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights] said she has found only one homeless shelter in the state that meets the residency requirements for homeless sex offenders. The shelter, she said, is in the northwest Georgia city of Rome and has only two beds, which are often unavailable."

Now, I will admit, the idea of having a homeless shelter, in Georgia where this is clearly a problem, that only has two beds cannot be considered a way to meet residency requirements. That is the most bizarre thing I think I've heard in awhile. I guess the people in charge of the shelter can't throw a couple of cots out for these guys to get them out of the woods at night?

But in the long run, I just can't muster up any sympathy for these guys. If you can't understand that sex with a minor is illegal, then don't whine about your life after you've done the deed and done your time.

Additional Entry Added 09/29/09

These are the homeless tent city residents that I feel bad for.

"In cities across the country, people with nowhere to live have done what many would have thought unthinkable before the economic crisis: moved into tents. Tent camps once associated mainly with the "Hoovervilles" of the Great Depression are springing up in places as varied as Sacramento, California; Nashville, Tennessee; Pinellas County, Florida; Providence, Rhode Island; and Seattle, Washington

These are decent, hardworking people who have fallen on hard times. They didn't choose to be homeless and not working. They are struggling, day-to-day, just to get by.

"The camps have often led to standoffs between local governments that say the camps violate housing ordinances and homeless rights advocates who argue that people struggling to get back on their feet need a permanent place to stay."

I think it's an outrage there is this ongoing struggle between people in need of a safe place to pitch their tents and local governments. I'm sure these aren't your 'typical' homeless people, the stereotypes you imagine when someone says 'homeless person.' "Before a homeless person can move into the camp, their names are checked against a county list of sex offenders to keep predators out. Drugs and alcohol are also prohibited, camp organizers said." Look, they even have their own prohibited lists to keep their residents safe, for God's sake! They aren't squatters. I bet they take really good care of their environments too.

Years ago, there was a little tent city of sorts in Virginia Beach. I'm not sure what kind of people lived there, but if you were in a high enough vehicle, you could see it, way off the side of I-264WB (what used to be old Rte. 44), by Holland Road. I haven't seen it in years, probably 8-9 years now that I think about it. I don't even know if those people left on their own or were told to leave.

"Debara Hiefner,known as "Sissy" to her street friends, lived for three years in a sort of tent city off Holland Road, where she said more than 20 homeless people once lived."

"In 2007, 476 homeless were counted. The number was 479 in 2008." Overall, people shouldn't have to live like that. What kind of community are we when people like this have to resort to camping, when there aren't enough shelters?

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