Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories
February 12, 2014

In attendance:  Joe Critelli, Hampden County House of Corrections, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Madeline Johnson, Hampden County of Sheriff’s Department, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Sgt. Anne McMahon, Northampton Police Department, Angel Recchia,  Franklin County Home Care, Pamela Schwartz, Network

Reviewed outreach with housing providers:

  • Valley CDC:  met their request to provide data on # of sex offenders in area and # of housing units available.  Advised by Joanne Campbell that this topic will come up again at April board meeting and she will let us know any next steps in the conversation
  • HAP: Heard back from property manager Faith Williams that in view of recent staff changes, HAP is revisiting the issue and will be back in touch in the next 2-3 months
  • SMOC has not responded to a couple of emails sent by Pamela in the last couple of weeks, asking for next steps following our meeting in November.  Pamela will keep emailing in the hopes of continuing the dialogue.

Agreed that as these outreach efforts are pending, we need to put our energies towards new outreach.

Brainstormed following outreach efforts:

Home City Housing (Pamela will connect with Dave Modzelewski)
YMCA – Springfield (Madeline will contact Karen Dean who has relationship with this program to explore this and any other options
YMCA – Athol (Angel will find out if viable entity to explore)
Soldier On – current policy requires any sex offender to be a participant in Dr. Delameter’s group (very small, 12 people total?).  Extremely limited.   Pamela will reach out to Steve Como to learn about best way to launch this conversation.  Pamela will also check with Sue White of VA to learn more about relationship between VA and Soldier On around these issues.

Media outreach:  Sgt. McMahon asked to speak to Channel 40 next week.  We discussed the need for quick media messages to stress basic messages:   “sex offender” is not one kind of person with one kind of criminal history; that public safety is best served by housing sex offenders with appropriate services and supports.  “Stranger danger” is misconception; that an offense is more likely to occur from a person one knows.

Next meeting:  3/26, 11- 12:15, Northampton Senior Center

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