Families outraged over pedophiles placed in shelter near schools: ‘We don’t feel our kids are safe’
In New York City, officials from the Department of Homeless Services placed five registered sex offenders, including two convicted pedophiles, in a homeless shelter surrounded by schools.
“Families no longer feel safe. We don’t feel our kids are safe,” one area mom said. “I used to take nightly walks, 10 to 11 p.m. I no longer leave my house alone at night.”
“I am not opposed to helping those in need and providing shelters for the homeless in my community, but I am against placing violent pedophiles with a block of schools,” another mom said.
Two of the shelter’s residents, Lonzel McNeil and Lee Jackson, were convicted of sexual crimes against children. While they’re on parole, state law prohibits Level 3 sex offenders and those whose crimes involved minors from living within 1,000 feet of a school — but neither McNeil nor Jackson are still on parole.
The homeless shelter is at a former Raddison Hotel, a temporary shelter since March 2020. Some of its current residents were unhappy to learn they’d be sharing the space with convicted pedophiles.
“If you got kids you should feel the same way. There are certain things you just don’t do,” said Don Parker, 52.