VA: Sex Offender Fears Force Church to Close Homeless Shelter

A Virginia church will close its homeless shelter this fall due to fears that the site was housing sex offenders.

“This was a rough decision for us because we looked at the overflow shelters as an extension of our ministry,” Reverend Tyrone Nelson, who pastors Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, told WTVR News.

Nelson added that it appeared that sex offenders were not only spending the night at the church but that they were “actually using our address. They were using the shelter and probably had been using the shelter on and off for a few years.” Full Article

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It is bad when you are poor and a sex offender that has to stay in a homeless shelter and the church does not even want you around. What ever happen to mercy and forgiveness! I guess public image is more important, not to mention that any person who is left outside with no place to go and sleep or just get of the street will most likely come in contact with more children than they would at a small church. Oh and did they say they were sleeping there at night. Am lost,are the kids there at night too?

I’m conflicted on this, but not in the way most might think. As a Christian, we are expected to show mercy and forgiveness. If they are aware of the truth about sex offenders, such as low recidivism rates, they are blatantly in the wrong for not showing love to the sex offenders using the shelter. On the other hand, they may simply not know that sex offenders are actually not much a danger. What I would want to see happen is the church officials take the time to educate themselves and continue serving those in need.

Yes, like realizing that the threat of a stranger molesting a child is very low indeed. I would hope being homeless and/or hungry is a more immediate concern for those children. Take that money that goes to enforcing the registry, creating more homelessness, and use it to provide food, shelter and education to the millions who need it.

Wow…God’s hands are that of outreach …to extend his hand
to pull you back on your feet……the extension to include you ….NOT exclude you…….c’mon man…….the good people
there tried to get that help…tried to grab His hand.

If this shelter was providing a place for homeless Registrants and didn’t know it, I would say there were no problems. Why isn’t this fact a reason to keep helping these folks? The new testament is clear on our duty to do so… It is interesting to me that so many churches, including mine, are making clear their love and acceptance of the LBGT community, is it only because this is now politically correct (and they might lose their tax-free status)???