How I Found Out Violent Sex Offenders Reside In The Same Shelter As I Do

HMLS New YorkerWhen you reside in a shelter, you are mandated to attend regularly scheduled meetings called Independent Living Plan (ILP) meetings. These meetings are conducted by your assigned case worker.

The tone and context of these meetings are akin to what I would imagine parole meetings are like. They mostly have a disciplinary type of function. During an ILP, you sign your room check form for the random room checks that are performed weekly; you sign a document that says you will continue to follow the rules, take off your belt before you come through the metal detector, keep any meetings the shelter decides to schedule for you at their whim, etc.

The ILP meetings don’t provide any tangible help for you to get housing. Although your case worker is also supposed to be your “housing specialist,” they don’t provide you with any valuable help to assist you in securing housing. (I’ll elaborate on that in a future blog post.) I say this to say, it was during an ILP meeting that I, by chance, discovered that violent sex offenders reside in the same shelter I do.

During one of my ILP meetings, my case worker carelessly left an array of documents containing people’s personal information out on her desk. Among these documents carelessly left askew for any and all to see, were sex offender papers.

No, shelter residents are not alerted to the fact that they are living in close-quarters with violent perpetrators of sex crimes. I found this out because my case worker did not honor the confidentiality protocols that require that personal documents are not left out in the open.

Upon further investigation, I recently found out that there are several violent sex offenders residing in the shelter I currently reside in. This should not be allowed. Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. This week, I discovered a few exposès that exposed other NYC homeless shelters that have violent sex offenders living amongst women and children unbeknownst to them.

CLICK HERE and HERE for those investigative reports.


The Homeless New Yorker Red Tape Quote Of The Week: The Incarceration-Like Interrogation Edition

HMLS New Yorker Red Tape

“These are the same questions you get asked when you get arrested.” -My Case Worker

The aforementioned quote is what my case worker said to me when I asked her the relevance of the questions she was asking me. (Note, she was asking me how many siblings I had and if I was raised in the same household with them.)

Also Note, I have NEVER been arrested. What would give a case worker cause to say something like this in response to a question of relevance, especially to someone who has absolutely no criminal history. I guess these shelter employees think being homeless is a crime.


Homeless New Yorker Stat Of The Week

HMLS New Yorker

According to a December 2015, New York Daily News Article, inspectors of NYC’s comptroller performed a random inspection of 101 New York City shelters. The inspection resulted in a finding that 87% of the shelters “had conditions that threatened residents’ health or safety.”


The Homeless New Yorker Red Tape Quote Of The Week: The Room Inspection Edition

HMLS New Yorker Red Tape

“ROOM INSPECTION. I just saw you come upstairs. I know you have clothes on.” -A Homeless Shelter Case Worker

This is how a case worker screams through the hallway to a homeless shelter resident, while rapidly and loudly banging on that person’s door with a security guard by her side to do a routine room inspection.

This is so callous, and adds to the atmosphere of living in a prison-like environment. What if that particular resident, or any resident within the sound of the case worker’s ruckus, was on the phone with their employer, on a business call, or on the phone with a loved one handling a sensitive matter? The above-stated quote is what would be heard in the background of that call. No professionalism, no courtesy, and no class!