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Kat’s Blog: We’re All in This Together, Or Are We?

Several news articles this week about Tampa Catholic Charities setting up a 100- tent homeless shelter called Hillsboro Hope, brought to mind the old biblical line “what so ever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”

Society has always excluded registrants from most homeless shelters. Even during our country’s worst episodes of floods, earthquakes, triple digit and freezing temperatures, registrants have been left to fend for themselves.  So, is it any wonder that once again, registrants are being denied the same basic necessities of life such as food, shelter and clothing that any other human being deserves? The difference this time, it’s occurring during the worst pandemic of our lives and this time by a Catholic Charity.

Tampa’s “Hillsboro Hope” is a recently opened shelter, it’s mission, to take in the homeless during these rough times. The exception of course is when it comes to homeless “sex offenders”. Screening for “sex offender” status takes place prior to admission.

According to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Hillsborough County is under a “safer at home” order, so those without a home are at higher risk of contracting viruses. “The sooner we start taking care of each other, the sooner we can get through this together” said the mayor.

Well, the Mayor’s statement sounds a bit hollow if you’re a registrant. Are we really “all in this together?”

Exactly why are registrants being excluded? Well, I wanted to hear it for myself.

I called Hillsboro Hope and spoke to a nice case manager who will remain nameless so as not to jeopardize his job, who willingly answered some questions before suggesting I should probably speak with the Director/Maggie Rogers, at the main office.

“Why are registrants being excluded by a charitable organization during a pandemic?” I asked. “Isn’t that sort of the opposite of what charity is supposed to be all about?”

The case manager responded that “sex offenders” are always a difficult group to place during a crisis due to the nature of their offenses.  He also suggested that those who fund the charity are the persons that make the rules regarding exclusions. Whether this case manager truly didn’t know or just wasn’t telling, he couldn’t answer the question as to who the source of Hillsboro Hope’s funding was. I imagine that since Tampa Police Dept. will be providing security for the shelter, city funding is involved somewhere. So, is it the city of Tampa that is excluding some of its citizens? Citizens who although homeless, may work and pay city taxes? I couldn’t seem to get any answer.

“Are homeless registrants being referred to or sheltered at some other facility during this pandemic?” I asked.

I was advised that “the issue hadn’t come up yet” so the case manager wasn’t certain as to what would happen with registrants if they did show up at the shelter, but personally, he didn’t know of any other places to refer them to.

I called the main office of Catholic Charities but the phone just rang and rang. I emailed them with a list of questions about referral sources for registrants, whether any groups other than registrants, people   that had also already served their sentences, were excluded. I asked about their source of funding too.  I’ve asked that they respond in a timely manner so that I could give a fair and accurate account as to why registrants were excluded from receiving shelter by their charitable organization during a pandemic. As of this writing, 5 days since I contacted them, I’ve still received no response.

We keep hearing “we’re all in this together”, from the president, the mayors, the media. It seems to be the “phrase of the day” that’s supposed to help all of us through all this crisis.

Well, someone needs to define the word “we”, because to those homeless registrants that are left out on the streets to face the pandemic alone, “we” doesn’t include them. For them, “we’re all in this together” is a meaningless phrase.

I can’t help but wonder, do you think Catholic Charities would deny shelter to one of their own, a homeless, defrocked, priest, that happened to be a registrant?

 

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One would have to say we agree we all in this together. Is it the “Why” question we all seek today or the “Who” question we all seek is these trying times. Should we all go back to school and learn or just roll with the punches. Should we all blame this on the storm before the calm or as shelter from the elements to gather our strength back or some understanding as to why this whole ordeal happened type cast some as second class as some use on here. With Janice’s and Kat’s permission if they would like to… Read more »

Are you going to divorce yourself or are you already divorced, then I hope that you benefit from my story and my blog or that you can draw something from my Kats Original ‘Facing it’ if you still need more help with this because you can’t get it out and would really like to do it right, then take a look at the following Facebook page: ‘Gezagsdelers’ of Van Aline van de Haar, she can give you very good advice and help you on your way .

It seems to me that the root of this problem, and the biggest challenge before us, is re-education of the public. I say re-education because the public has been mentally trained by self-serving politicians and ratings driven media to believe that all people on the registry and all those charged with a sex offense are the same and should be grouped into the same category. The re-education is needed to help the public break out of this mindset, and to relearn that the truth is that most people on the registry did a singe instance offense, often drugs or alchol… Read more »

For what its worth those on the sex registry or others that have offenses seem to be at a lose today. While many offenses may seem degrading were is bible standards or ethics or moral standards of understanding, even distancing laws or other callous punishment endeavors are a bit much. I’m sure we all were not prepared for all this convid-19 pandermic that has come upon us all today. Everything is just about at a stand still today and work is stagnated. Even employment for people is up in the air, people lucky to have jobs are imprisoned to work… Read more »

Of course we aren’t “all in this together”. That’s just something the self-righteous, self-entitled people are saying to try to comfort themselves and make themselves feel better. They are upset their lives are being impacted. They want to get back to trying to feel superior and harassing. I’m certainly not all in this together with Registry Supporters/Terrorists (RS/Ts). I’ll be helping people I know and people who are decent. I won’t be worrying or caring about RS/Ts. There have been a lot of people on these forums over the years who talk about helping charities, “giving back”, or whatever. I’ve… Read more »

Will take a look at yourself sure we all have morals and understanding, values and principals to understand right and wrong at least I hope we all do. I or anybody else are not self righteous are we. This virus we all are in is telling us all something or has it effected your conscious or the many lifes of others conscious. Life is short as it is. I dont’ know your ordeal that you are going thru but we all go thru trials in life and yes some involve courts of law but when law is unfair to Americans… Read more »

Are you going to divorce yourself or are you already divorced, then I hope that you benefit from my story and my blog or that you can draw something from my Kats Original ‘Facing it’ if you still need more help with this because you can’t get it out and would really like to do it right, then take a look at the following Facebook page: ‘Gezagsdelers’ of Van Aline van de Haar, she can give you very good advice and help you on your way .

@All….I just wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to every spouse, partner, & significant other who is in a relationship with a person forced to register. It takes a incredible person of incredible character to stay & suffer the indignities that are the collateral consequences of the registry. My own wife has endured every ex post facto change for the worse with me over the last 20 years. The way things were when we got married look nothing like they do now. I don’t generally get confronted about my status due to my stature & general… Read more »

@Josh: You have a wonderful wife!!!!!!!! Thank her for me.

@Love, peace, & happiness….You just thanked her yourself! She doesn’t contribute in this forum but follows all the developments and discussions on a daily basis. She says you’re welcome! She also agrees with @MLinCA that I’m very fortunate to have her…lol

@Josh
You’re a fortunate man to have such a wife.

@Josh, After reading your post, I have to agree with everything said. I was a registrant in PA for a very long time. Thanks to recent PASC decisions I was finally removed about a year ago, but still follow and support others as its still a constant struggle even AFTER coming off the reg. Like you, when I married my wife, things where much different as ex post facto laws hadn’t snagged me yet, but like you, as the laws changed, and things became worse my wife chose to stand by me. I know first hand it was not easy… Read more »

Well said, Josh.

I liked that also josh that was real truthful and says a lot about this registry that others think about others that are a bit discriminating to others.

Now I honestly like Janice and her team and many of you on here have approved as well, but many times we are all at a lose of words to say to confort one another. Yes me and my little Gospel views might seem out of place on here but what is truth. Was Ronald Reagan right or how about Martain luther king, or JFK but were are they now. Were they silenced because of their viewpoints by some conspircy or did they strive to stand up and bring some true values in American Justice. Was all this Adam Walsh… Read more »

My friend in my hometown that calls me now and than which isn’t involved in any of this sex offender stuff but know’s I am said to me we all should all pray the blood of Jesus as this whole nation is effected in one way or another. Even prison systems are waking up to this ordeal. One doesn’t even have to be in prison so we all should pray for each other. I just hope its not to late for the many as this virus pandemic is effecting many prison systems and jails across the USA . Sure we… Read more »

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