A friend of mine was a "guest" of the Cherry Street Mission recently. The stories he had to tell were horrifying. He told me of drunken and drug-induced fights there that result in the police being summoned many times every day. Fire Rescue and ambulances are also a common sight there. After he told me of these things I decided to do a little investigating of my own. There are currently 39 registered sex offenders staying there. Their crimes involve the unspeakable-children molested,raped and sodomized. There is also an untold number of fugitives from the law who are hiding out there. They are using aliases in some cases but in others they are not. The staff of Cherry Street Mission either does not check these men's background or they simply do not care. He told me of groups of children who are brought to Cherry Street Mission on tours of the facility. The adults with them are either unaware of what they are walking the young ones into or they are willing to jeopardize the children's safety. As a donor to the Cherry Street Mission I am appalled as to what I have been donating my resources to. There is no way that I will ever donate to CSM again. I urge anyone else who has donated or considering donating to CSM PLEASE DON'T DO IT. If you want to voice your concerns to CSM contact CSM CEO Rev. Dan Rogers at: 419-242-5141 Ext.231 or Men's Ministry case management Ext. 239.
updated by Harley on Mar 10, 2009 at 12:41:35 pm Comments: 51
Comments ... #
Thanks for the update Harley. We've donated to CSM for years, not a lot, but what I can afford. I've never been in the place and only know of their work through printed materials. I guess I just assumed that the people being helped would be a little more humble and grateful and conduct themselves accordingly. You know, like human adults not animals. I'll now be saving a few hundred bucks to give to other charities we support in the area. I also think I'll check these other places out too.
Uh, what did you expect? These "guests" are homeless...not Jefferson Award winners. And I assume the staff aren't highly compensated psychologists.
Harley is an alarmist. They do not divulge names to the general public of who is there, so not sure how he did any background checks on those 39 “evildoers”. The CSM can barely feed these people, do you think they have the time or money to screen each person coming to them for a hot meal and a cot for the night?
You should be ashamed of yourself.
Go to the Lucas County Sheriffs registered sex offender site and type in 105 17th street. That will tell the whole story. On it you will find the names of and the offenses commited by 39 registered sex offenders who are "guests" there.
The Lucas County Sheriff's registered sex offender site is at: http://www.sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=53960
Would you rather these guys were wandering the city of Toledo? At least here they are in the same place. What kind of person are you to have a friend who was a "guest" at the CSM? Why didn't you offer him a place to stay? And what did he expect from the CSM? A concierge and the USA Today every morning?
I concur with what Ryan said, you should be ashamed of yourself. But then again, your whole story sounds suspicious anyway. What are you, some disgruntled former employee?
Why are you trying to give Cherry Street Mission a bad name? What did you expect to find there? They attempt to take care of the people in society that no one else can or wants to care for! They do the best with the resources they have.
Would you rather these people be out on the street more, maybe in YOUR neighborhood. Come on, they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. Gimme a break.
They are wandering the streets-the streets of downtown Toledo everyday. Do you realize how many schools are located within a short walking distance of CSM? I had no idea my friend had even contemplated staying in such a place. If I had known about it he would have been welcome to stay with me anytime.
My money is still that you are someone with a personal axe to grind with CSM.
I agree. Back in February he was urging people to donate to CSM. Something has happened between then and now.
And the only other thread Harley has started was one singing the praises of Opal Covey for Mayor. So consider your source, a big batch of crazy.
So Harley, before you go running someone down, do you check things out yourself, or do you just wade right on in? I put the post out there back in February asking for donations, but before I did, I called them up.
YOU posted a phone number in your slap down, so I contacted them a second time. Here's my response:
"I appreciate friends like you, and certainly the other folks who spoke up for the work we do. The fact is, while there are registered sex offenders who stay with us, just because they've registered with the parole office that we are their address, doesn't mean they stay with us. As a matter of fact, they are only required by law to register an address, and so many of them put our address in and never show up - not once. We do cooperate fully with local law enforcement as well as the parole office for the express purpose of men not making Cherry Street a safe haven from their crimes.
If a man is willling to change his life and work toward betterment, then yes we help that man - but we do this very carefully as you know and not at all ignorantly. Our volunteers who come to us are told what our work is and are oriented toward safety - and our safety measures are carefully monitored by our staff.
Last night we had 197 men stay with us for overnight shelter - most of these men, and I do mean most of them are decent people who don't cause trouble. There are those who want to fight or be drunk and are dealt with immediatly - so yes, when the police must be called we do it - again, for the safety of all."
Harley, you do whatever you want with your charitible dollars. As for me and my family, I will continue to support the CSM, as we have for years.
I will also continue to do my homework.
...and one other thing. You had a friend who was a 'guest' at the CSM? If you're such a good friend, why was he staying at a shelter in the first place and not on your couch?
I have donated and volunteered on and off at CSM for years and they do fine work.
No disrespect but I think you're letting a few bad apples ruin the lot. (granted horrible apples).
Every facet of society has criminals but that doesn't mean we should have it shut down. Can you talk to the guy who lost his job to a foreign company and his 2 kids trying to get a hot meal and say "Sorry I can't donate a $0.50 meal because there is an undesirable who stays here".
I see your point in not wanting to help criminals, but I can't imagine the shelter having the resources to screen people's criminal record before every meal.
Even if they could, do you think it would legal to say "sorry you can't eat here, you sold pot to some kid back in the 60's".
The world isn't so black and white.
Let me get this straight.
1-The Cherry Street Mission is filled with less than perfect citizens.
2-Don't take young children there and leave them alone.
3-There are drunken and drug induced fights there. (Gee, sounds just like many bars in Toledo)
I haven't heard anything from you that I didn't already know. It is a place for those who are having some kind of trouble in their life. It is not a place for children.
Is this somehow related to your car being towed by the city?
Not all, but many people that stay in shelters, including those in Toledo, are mentally ill. Combine mental illness with alcholism and drug addiction and shelters are not generally peaceful and quiet places for guests or staff. Both CSM and St. Paul's Shelter provide meals and lodging to folks who have no other options. In many cases, the people staying in shelters are the very types of people who used to be institutionalzed for life, which is not commonplace these days. The shelters and staff do the best they can with the people on the fringes of society. What other options are there Harley?
Remember, too, that all sorts of people can list CSM as a permanent address, since there is no way of verifying where they really live. Maybe, just maybe, some folks tell the sheriff that they are homeless, while they really have a legitimate address. It's not like there is a realistic way to verify this, or as though the sheriff has the personnel to tail every two-bit offender to make sure they stay at CSM.
Besides, even if all 39 registered sex offenders stay there on something like a regular basis, where the hell else are they going to go? They've destroyed their lives, plus those of their victims, they've served their time, and now they are out on the street with....nothing. Are you suggesting that they should be allowed to starve because of past crimes? I deplore those who prey on children, but I still think they have the right to seek charity if they are destitute.
Maybe CSM could pass out Harley's address if this campaign to demean CSM is successful. He would know how to get them straightened out, by golly.
From Billy:_If you're such a good friend, why was he staying at a shelter in the first place and not on your couch?_
You know, I was just wondering the same thing. Hey, with friends like these... and so forth.
Thanks to Virginny for her comments about poor mental health, self-medication and shelters. You beat me to the post, Virginny.
Harley, go see the Wizard and tell him you need a heart.
I have not donated money to the Cherry Street Mission, but at the end of this month I'm going to send them something, even if it's a small something.
You will find situations and people like that at virtually ANY homeless shelter.
I used to volunteer for a program through the Red Cross, where we operated an after hours emergency program. (This was in another city.) In the program, we'd provide temporary assistance to people during nights/weekends, until they could get in touch with other social service agencies that operated during the day. We helped people find shelter (as well as food, diapers, formula, etc.).
I heard a lot of stories and complaints about what happens in the shelters. Unfortunately, the shelters have to serve a population that has a lot of problems...mental illness, addictions, etc. What you described is certainly not unique to the Cherry Street Mission.
Can I repost this but change Cherry Street Mission to "local toledo bars"?
You could find the exact same crowd in a local bar on certain nights. Maybe we should all wear nametag labels.
"Drunk", "Drug User", "Sex Offender", "Pervert", "Law Breaker"
I understand that CSM as a homeless shelter has those who reside there who are less than model citizens. That is the nature of their business.
I did object (and wrote them to inform them) when they had a Tier 3 (probably possession of pornography) Sexual Offender on their professional staff. In my opinion, that was very poor judgement. He no longer works there so the matter is moot, but it made me think twice about their judgement.
The difference between housing sexual offenders and hiring sexual offenders is position of power/influence. A resident at CSM who is a sexual offender is quite frankly one of the population. An employee who is a sexual offender is given power, authority, and influence that is in my opinion risky.
BTW, they knew he was a sex offender when they hired him.
Hey, Harley, how long have you lived in Toledo??? They were wandering the streets back when I was in high school, 40 years ago, right up the road. Also, I checked that Sheriff's site out more than a year ago and found out the guy across the street from me is listed as a sex offender. He's quiet, works, and takes care of his yard, just like normal people!! GASP!
While yer asking the Wiz for a heart, get a brain, too.
Sorry to burst your bubble. But the sex offender who is across the street may appear normal to the general public, but that is not where the risk lies. The risk exists with his intimate sexual behavior -- which I'm betting he does not do while he is taking care of his yard. Just because he appears normal does not mean that his behavior is not risky to others -- especially to children.
I'm going to go out on a limb and defend Harley's position -- a little.
I don't think that EVERYONE knows that a lot of the residents of CSM are sex offenders. Actually, I'd bet about half of the public knows and half of the public does not know.
For some people, especially those who've been sexually abused or had a family member sexually abused, organizations assisting sexual offenders in any way feels more than uncomfortable -- it feels morally wrong. There are many people who would not support (financially or in other ways) an organization that assists sexual offenders.
Myself, I wrote to CSM, and informed them that as long as the Tier 3 Sexual Offender was on their payroll, I would not donate to them.
To me the issue CSM housing so many sexual offenders is a real safety risk.
CSM is not a jail and it is not a treatment center. That many sexual offenders being housed together (without the benefits of ongoing treatment and without the security measures imposed by a jail) is definitely risky.
Sexual offenders find satisfaction and arousal in sharing sexual information and with that many of them housed together, I've got little doubt that some of that is going on.
That being said, I'm not sure what the other options are.
But just because there are no other options, does not mean that the situation isn't risky.
Ah, piss on it, we'll continue to give when we can. We've donated for years, nothing's perfect, unfortunately.
Maybe Carty can advertise Toledos' world class misson district (across the street from the apartment complex, with the scarecrow in the middle of its' cornfield)-as a way to attract new business? I mean, who wouldn't want to locate here.
corky - I'd agree with you that it wouldn't be appropriate for them to have an offender on the payroll.
But a person would have to be incredibly naive to not realize that there are sex offenders, mentally ill people, drug addicts, etc. among the population at homeless shelters. (Either that, or they've just never given it a second thought before.)
As far as your comment that CSM is not a jail or a treatment center...well no, it isn't. If an offender is at the CSM, they've already completed their jail sentence.
I find sex offenders to be repugnant too, but unless they get executed or a life sentence, they will unfortunately have to be re-integrated into society somehow. And there aren't many options available to them, so they might end up in a place like the CSM.
I work close to the CSM and the Ten-Eyck Towers (the apartment complex Wulf refernced)...I try to avoid walking to my car alone whenever possible, because there are hundreds of sex offenders registered within a 2 mile radius of my workplace. Unfortunately, since there are few places for released offenders to go, they tend to cluster in the small handful of places that will take them.
It is funny that everyone focuses on sex offenders. Most, maybe even all, of you have some sort of convicted criminal living in your immediate neighborhood. So does the mission. Why the focus on sex offenders?
As far as the mission not having the same facilities or controls as a jail/prison - if these people are on the street, they have served whatever time the court imposed. On top of that, they have a registration requirement not imposed on "regular offenders".
Residents of the mission will commit crimes against one another even if there are no convicted sex offenders among them. Not because they are more likely to be criminals, but because the population of the mission is just that, a population. Just like society as a whole has crime, so do smaller representations of society.
I guess where my agreement with Harley's position is that there is an increased danger at CSM with so many sexual offenders living together. A lone sex offender in a neighborhood is still a risk, but they do not have other sex offenders right next to them sharing information.
My position is that the general public is pretty naive about the dangers that sex offenders present. I do think that most of the general public knows that there are homeless people living at CSM who have mental illness or drug addiction, but I'd bet that most of them don't really consider that sexual offenders are also among their population.
There aren't too many other options, but it does not negate the risks and safety issues . . . as evidenced by mom2s statement that she tries to avoid walking to her car alone in that neighborhood.
Should people donate to CSM? I think that is a personal decision.
Hockeyfan seems to have changed his position on criminals since his post of Feb. 25 "Murderer Walks Free In Toledo".
...he was ranting about Alan Konop defending a accused murderer in the '60's and now seems to be sticking up for sex offenders who have been convicted. Maybe Hockeyfan has some skeletons in his closet.
Corky, if the convicted sex offender working for CSM is named Juan, yes, he is still working there. He is a registered Tier III offender and he is still on their payroll.
Actually, there was another one named Steve who worked there too. He is no longer on the payroll and has moved out of the area.
Again, hiring a known sexual offender demonstrates very poor judgement by CSM. It is one thing to house them, but to put them in any position of power or influence is just bad judgement IMO.
Why would sex offenders be more likely to share information than another type of criminal? Guests of the mission have committed many other types of crimes. You may also want to consider that the kitchens of many major restaurants are full of people who are convicted criminals.
What about Larry ? Why did he leave ?
Larry worked there about a year ago. Larry looks just like the guy from the old t.v. show "Benson."
So where IS a registered sex offender supposed to find employment? Around small children or around adult down and outs that few other folks care to rub elbows with? Or are they never supposed to work anywhere again? Should they just commit suicide, thereby placing no demand on public services? How much influence any one but a trained counselor would have on the residents of any homeless shelter would be marginal at best. The risk to the employess of shelters from the residents is far greater than the risk of the residents from the employees. I see no problem with it. CSM takes a big burden from all of of us who care, but who can't individually provide the services to assist that population. I can write a check. I won't take a strange unwashed chronic alcoholic with mental problems into my home as a non paying guest. Basically that's what they do. If the CSM hires registered sex offenders to achieve that they are actually fulfilling their mission.
Sexual offenders share information because it arouses them. It is part of the pathology.====================
I'm not saying that sex offenders should not be allowed to be employed. I'm saying that if I operated a homeless shelter that housed sexual offenders, as well as the mentally ill and drug dependent that I would not hire sexual offenders to be on the payroll.
Have them work in restaurants, warehouses, etc. I'm just saying that they should not be working a position in which they have any influence over children (doesn't happen at CSM), other vulnerable adults (including the mentally ill), and other sexual offenders.
BTW, I'm not saying that there should be a law prohibiting their employment at a place like CSM. I'm saying that if I headed CSM, given what I know about sexual offenders, I wouldn't hire them too.
Your first statement is a massive generalization which is only true for certain classifications of offenders.
As for your other statements...All criminals have a potential for recidivism. That is not a condition peculiar to sex offenders. Show me a study that says it is more prevalent among sex offenders and I'll show you another that says the first one is wrong.
Drug addicts are among the most likely to reoffend. They are also very likely to commit crimes against other people. There are many drug addicts staying at the mission on any given day. They may also be working for the mission. The point is, you are demonizing a single group of offenders with no support for your position.
I don't want a sex offender living next to me if I can help it. I also would like to avoid kidnappers, those with assaultive tendencies, drunk drivers, etc...
Harley - as you can see by all the responses you have hit a button with a lot of people. I have a personal friend who volunteers at CSM, works very hard to find employment for the men there who are homeless for many different reasons. With the state budget cuts a number of years ago many mentally ill were virtually thrown out to the streets from the mental hospital here in town. Unfortunately not everyone has the ability to hold a job and maintain a roof over their head. CSM is a service, a good service that is desperately needed. I donate to them on a regular basis and will continue to. God help you Harley if you ever find yourself on the streets.
It should be pointed out as well, that if an 18 year old guy had a relationship & sex with a 17 yr old girl & her parents pressed charges, he could also be labeled by the courts as a 'sexual offender'. Not all sexual offenders are child molesters - of course some are rapists - but many are the result of young relationships that went wrong, or her parents did not approve of. There are also more than a few young girls who lust for revenge on guys & make wild accusations. And sometimes, the guy gets the label, deserved or not.
I am not defending child molesters or rapists or abusers - just making the point that sometimes, a label does not tell the entire story.
CSM has been there before I started high school at Macomber in 79. It was there when my sister graduated from Macomber in 92. Still there when my daughter attended high school at the charter school. In all of those years I have not seen an incident. Never a lock down ect.
Stopping the donations is not gonna make the problem go away. It would just put them on the streets. Personally, I'd rather have them living at CSM than on the streets in your neighborhood.
I like Corky's comment about housing versus hiring, which makes a lot of sense to me.
Starling brought up one of the questions I have about criminal sex offenders, which is the situation. In the case that Starling mentioned where one is underage or even if both are underage, who will get charged with what crime? If the person is found guilty, are they then a sex offender?
Another situation I've always wondered about is the teen prostitute question. A man get propositioned by a little hottie and accepts her offer of certain licentious services in exchange for some amount of money. After the money changes hands but prior to the completion of the service, a Toledo Law Enforcement Officer makes his one and only 'caught in the act' arrest. Ever.
Okay, so far it's a misdemeanor. But then the little hottie turns out to be fifteen. Again, what kind of crime is it? Is this man going to be labeled a sex offender?
The two situations I described should not have to carry the label 'sex offender' and be a social pariah forever more. Yes, these aren't good things to do, I agree. Any of you father's feel free to load your shotgun, fine. But somehow these situations don't have the right feel for a felony or sex offense.
Any advice or comments?
Just because there are not other options, does not mean that the situation isn't risky. Housing that many sexual offenders together as CSM does presents definite risks. Don't tell me it doesn't. I've worked in the mental health system. Typically, these places are under-staffed, poorly managed, and loosely operated.
I never said that sexual offenders are more likely than other criminals to share information. Someone else did. I said that sharing information arouses them. Perhaps, I should have clarified and said that it arouses some of them. But it is part of the pathology of some sexual offenders to share sexual information.
My bigger beef with CSM is that given that they house that many sexual offenders it does not seem wise to also hire known sexual offenders.
I knew a gurk once wgo worked part-time at one of thes shelters downtown. She had some real horror stories, though some were humorous. It has to be one of the most thankless jobs in the known universe.
CSM is offering nothing in the way of useful counseling of the men who are staying there. My friend is a total wreck since his stay there. He is now staying with me. He said that his experience there was the worst thing that has ever happened to him. Living under a bridge would be preferable to staying there from what he tells me.
Ryan, you of all people calling someone a troll is not unlike the pot calling the kettle black. You seem to thrive on controversy. The facts that I have put out here are all true and completely verifiable. What do you have to contribute except what can be called nothing other than trolling?
You are an extremist and a shameless person. the end.
Ryan, I do believe that you are harboring sexual desires for me. Is that true? Come on big boy you can open up and tell me.