Sex offenders could be forced out of group homes, onto Kent streets

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KENT — The city of Kent has notified 10 group homes housing registered sex offenders that they have until the end of the July to get many of them out.

kentSome say that that’s a dangerous deadline.

Eddie Weber manages six of the 10 group homes. He said Thursday he got a notice in May that too many sex offenders were living in his properties. He is now facing having to release 50 sex offenders into the streets

“Grossly unfair, just bad policy,” Weber said.

He added that he has been running clean and sober homes for years like the one on Bridges Avenue South that currently houses 14 sex offenders.

“They just changed the definition (on group homes); you are no longer a clean and sober home, you are a group home — so move,” Weber said.

An attorney for the city of Kent declined to go on camera to explain the city’s side.  The attorney did, however, say it was a zoning issue and that they granted extensions allowing the sex offenders’ time to find new homes.

“I went door to door almost five days a week, and the VA was trying to get me places, but when they find out I am a sex offender, no one wants me,” said Arthur Hamelin, a Level 3 sex offender.

Hamelin said he will be homeless in the next six days. And he admitted that instability could make him dangerous.

“I would say so, because here I have more structure. I attend classes once a week. I go to AA. I work around here. I’m always busy,” said Hamelin.

Some say the public is safer with sex offenders living together than having the ex-convicts roaming the streets, while others say too many of them in one home is simply dangerous for the neighborhood.

“It’s not the best scenario. It’s not someone going out of work release, it’s completely different,” said neighbor David Lopez.

Weber said his homes are the lesser of two evils.

“I hope the community recognizes that it is more dangerous to have these people at large run amok,” Weber said.

Weber hired an attorney to challenge the city’s ruling.

The sex offenders have until July 31 to move out. If they do not, the owners of the homes will face steep fines.

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  • Orville

    Since they always reoffend why are they in open society? Why risk “the Children”??

    Why risk more offenses on innocent people (YOUR daughter, YOUR son, YOUR wife??)

    These people need to be isolated and kept from society, they are not rehabilitatable and most often they are not productive. Consideing all the expenses of police and court costs, lawyer costs and the physical and emotional costs of their offenses and costs of their incarnation it is cheaper to keep them OUT of society in the long run.

    • Jim

      Sex Offenders have the lowest re-offense percentage, at about six-percent, of any crime category, while others like house burglars and drug dealers have high re-offense percentage; yet you do not care about them in your area. The cost of incarceration is about $32,000 a year per inmate – how much more can YOU afford to pay to calm you exaggerated fear. Knowing some facts is more important than fear mongering.

  • jon

    Keeping them in one location, DOC knows where they are and can be monitored better, putting them on the streets is f””” insane!! They will reoffend and will be harder to track and will eventually disappear and then they will get a warrant, a waste of time, kent is being stupid at this point, and not thinking things through for the safety of the community, if they want to kick them out on the streets, put them back in jail

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