A vent and a few questions.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ginnie5, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. ginnie5

    ginnie5 wife,mom,taxi driver,cook Supporter

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    There is a prison ministry halfway house up the road from us. Not far either. When we bought this house we knew it was there but we talked to the person over it and it was light duty offenders in there. Well that person is no longer overseeing it. I have watched over the last year as the men they bring in get consistently worse. In the last year there have been child molesters and sex offenders, and now I find out that next month they are bringing in two rapists who have been in the system for literally years. I am not happy about this. I have 2 teenage daughters and it scares the *&^%* out of me to have them up there. In all there are about 5 teenage girls within eyesight of this place. There is no rehabilitation program to help them either. As long as they don't get in trouble and they pay their weekly rent they can stay. I'm getting ready to start making phone calls. I'm calling the guy who is over the parole board here, the sheriff, and the director of this program. We have already had run ins with some ofthe ones they have had here recently and if dh had not been here I hate to think what would've happened. Right now he's coming into his busiest time at work. He's going to be on the road alot which means I'll be here by myself with the kids with 2 rapists two houses up who have no supervision. As much as I hate the thought of a gun in the house I'm beginning to wonder if it would not be a good idea to have some protection for me and the kids. I'm already bringing the dog in at night. 90 lbs of snarling dog I hope would discourage them. He's very protective of the kids. They are zoned for what they are doing ...already checked that. So do I have any options here? Moving right now is out of the question. This is supposed to be a ministry operation. It seems to me they should have a little more concern for the people around. I mean I'm sure there are some guys in prison for lesser crimes that would welcome their help. It just seems like they are taking anyone they can get.
     
  2. That ain't no ministry. It's a hotel.
    Get 3 guns. Get gun lessons and carry permits for you and your daughters. Get 3 big dogs. And call the local newspapers. Start a neighborhood watch and video tape them. Let them know your watching them too!
     

  3. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    Its easy to be a monday morning quarterback and say you "should have done this". The past is the past. You now live where you do.

    The halfway house isn't going anywhere. They have a legal right to go about there business. You have absolutely no say in how they conduct there business. Unfortunately, living next to the lowest form of human dregs may become a way of life.

    You can continue to live where you do and experience a quality of life that is less than satisfactory.....or move.

    If you stay there, its quite likely you'll need some defensive protection, be it a firearm or some non-lethal protection such as pepper spray/tear gas. Living in fear isn't living.....its existing. The sheriff, program director & parole board people have heard from the NIMBY(not in my back yard) crowd for decades. They no doubt are sympathetic to your plight, but realize these scumbags must be housed somewhere.



    I can't think of a best case scenairio for you if you continue to live where you're at. The stress & fear from living there could easily cause marital strife, health problems, and rebellious kids.
    At the end of the day, of course, you realize that you owe it to your family to make a 110% effort to move ASAP and quit living in fear. You have but one life to live.
     
  4. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm afraid that Hoop is probably right. You can try to fight the situation, and you should try, but at the end of the day you will need to reassess your options. Living in fear is no life even with a gun, pepper spray, and home security system. Fearing for your children is even worse, how can you be with them 100% of the time? It's a matter of deciding what you can live with and what you can't. I had a similar situation, I sold and moved on and am so glad I did, wish I'd done it sooner. Let us know how it goes for you.
     
  5. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Hoop about the Monday morning quarterbacking. Looks like you're stuck with the situation.

    And some "bleeding hearts" can't understand why neighborhoods don't want these "halfway house" situations in their area. Unfortunately, since this "house"
    existed when you bought your property and you were aware of it, you have no standing to complain now.

    I bought the property next door to me several years ago so that the only "scum" I have for close neighbors is me.
     
  6. 65284

    65284 Well-Known Member Supporter

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  7. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

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    Actually, there may be something that you can do about it. It depends on your local zoning ordinances and the number of people staying there.

    In many counties and towns a special permit or zoning is required to operate a boarding house, which is usually defined as a residence rented to more than 3 people who are not related by blood or marriage. Find out about these regulations in your area. It may be that you can mount an effort to have their permit revoked or non-renewed or have the property re-zoned. You would want to talk to all of your other neighbors who live nearby and get them on board. If you have friends who are active in the PTA or other local groups like that, it's a good idea to get them on your side. Maybe find a member of the School Board who agrees that this is a threat to children while waiting for the bus. Then once you have yourself a little coalition, go talk to your local elected representative, be it County Supervisor, member of Council or whatever you have. Get them on board as your patron. Probably there will be a seperate body called the Planning Commission or something like that which votes on zoning issues before they go before the Supervisors or Council. You'll have to lobby them, too.

    Assuming that there is a zoning issue you can exploit, your chances are probably good. There won't be a lot of jobs or lucrative contracts associated with that halfway house that would tend to create much political force against you.

    Many halfway houses look like charitable organizations but are really very much so for profit. The appeal is that it is a way of taking Section 8 vouchers or similar guaranteed forms of rent while also having the option of controlling the tenants' behavior more closely within the house than usual, which may reduce the property damage often associated with renting to Section 8 voucher holders. The owners are really just landlords with an angle.

    My own house was a 'home for wayward girls' for many years until I bought it. Boy, how half a dozen juvinile delinquints can trash a house even under close supervision! The house ended up on the market because the neighbors had done more or less what I outlined above.
     
  8. horselogger

    horselogger Well-Known Member

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    Please consider that if a child is attacked,the scars are forever.Likewise ,the offender who finds himself looking down the barrel of a 12 guage right before it fires,well I don't really care what he feels.Do not depend upon someone else to protect your children. Follow all legal proceedures and take courses to learn how to use a firearm,and make sure your children are taught as well.You are in my thoughts,with the hope that all turns out okay
     
  9. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Could you afford to move and turn your present home into a rental?

    One trouble with making any kind of loud fuss is that it will make it difficult to sell your home, now that you have let everyone know what is in the neighborhood. Also, depending upon where you live, you may have to list the halfway house as a "nuisance" on a diclosure form for any potential buyers. You probably have to disclose it to renters also, but at least you're not there.

    Like others have said, you might wish to turn this into a code enforcement issue, particularly if there are schools close by. Does anyone in the neighborhood homeschool or run a daycare nearby? They could at least be made to boot the sex offenders. You may be able to boot the entire place if they told the community it was "minimum risk" offenders and it is now something entirely different. Breach of contract issue here.
     
  10. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I feel for you. But at least you know what you are up against. I agree about the poster who said get a neighbor hood watch together, and I would suggest ASAP. Go house to house and get it organized. I'm sure your neighbors are as concerned as you are. When you make it clear your are watching them they will be very careful who they attack. I believe in keeping a gun for protection, and you said you had teenage daughters. Get them in a class to learn how to shoot, so they can protect them selves. Also they should go to a class to learn how to use some sort of martial art. There are ways a girl can disable a big man if she knows the right moves.

    In one of our neighbor hood watch meetings once, we had a sherrif speak. He said if you have to shoot someone, make sure they are in the house. If they are not inside them they can charge you for murder. If they are inside then they cannot. "People please don't flame me for saying this, it's just a quote from a sherrif".
     
  11. jerneeon

    jerneeon Well-Known Member

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    I have some ideas about those used guitar strings that someone was mentioning on another post.

    If I were you, I'd get the other people nearby involved.

    When my daughter was molested, I went to the sheriff's dept and got a list of all the sex offenders and their addresses. Then I made copies of the list and handed it out to their neighbors.

    You might make flyers about the 'ministry' and hand it out. Alert any schools nearby. Alert the radio stations. Alert every neighbor within several blocks. This should not be taken too lightly. People should know. And most will support you and some may be willing to help. Those people should not be let out of prison in the first place, and I always tell people if their child is molested to not expect the court system to hand out any real justice. In your case, I would do everything I can to change the situation.
     
  12. ginnie5

    ginnie5 wife,mom,taxi driver,cook Supporter

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    I'm going to be calling the planning and zoning commision tomorrow along with a few others. I like the idea of the flyers too. I really think that they have never encountered any arguement as to who goes there and that is why they are getting worse. There are some older ladies in our neighborhood who live alone too and I'm sure they won't be comfortable with this either. I'll post an update later on.
     
  13. jerneeon

    jerneeon Well-Known Member

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    I wish you all the luck in the world, Ginny
     
  14. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

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    I don't think those types of offenders should EVER be permitted to leave prison. But if she does succeed in getting these people out of her back yard... they are just going to end up in someone else's back yard... Or the halfway house will close and they will just be out and about... sprinkled throughout the community.