Monday, June 16, 2008

New York is not keeping predators out of shelters

Department of Homeless Services still not screening for sex offenders

Sunday, June 15th 2008, 11:06 PM

Sex offenders are still being housed at shelters for homeless families a year after the problem was first exposed, a new report revealed Sunday.
State Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) charged that the Department of Homeless Services is still failing to screen applicants to make sure they are not on the Megan's Law registry, allowing serious sex offenders to be assigned to shelters that house children.
"It will take them five minutes to avoid a lifetime of trauma for a child who may be hurt by one of these individuals," said Klein outside the agency's Manhattan office.
Last year, Klein found six level 2 or 3 sex offenders who had registered family shelters as their addresses.
The latest report found five sexual predators giving family shelters as their address, though only two could be verified as still living at the facilities.
DHS officials cited the agency's legal obligation to shelter anyone who applies and policies that make it difficult to separate families who apply together.