“The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that ultimately do.”
Can We Count On You?
Letter from the president
We have found the perfect home. We have found a financier for the home. AND we have discovered that if we move forward with the information we have, we could be bankrupt within a year. This is our predicament: there is a 1,000-foot residency rule which we are keenly aware of. No person on the sex offense registry may live within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare, or playground. This has caused us significant trouble finding a location to house our residents, but we have finally found not one, but two homes that meet our needs and the residency requirements. Unfortunately, we are not sure we can move forward.
The larger problem is that if there is no school, day care or playground within 1,000 feet when a registrant moves in, but a school or daycare is built or moves in later, the individual on the registry is grandfathered in and is not required to move. He or she was there first.
However, an organization or structure that provides such housing is not grandfathered in. Thus, when our current residents graduate from the program which is 1 year long, we may not be allowed to house any additional residents. If a school or day care moves in, the current residents do not need to move, but our business would not be permitted to allow any new registrants at that location. We would not be able to invite any newly returning citizens to participate in our housing program at that location. We would be out of business at that location since transitional living is, well, transitional. Of course, we can move, but we would be in a constant state of flux.
This is further complicated because this includes home daycares and daycares at churches. There are a lot of churches in the city of St. Louis. If the church rightfully decides to open a daycare to help its congregants or neighbors, we are still impacted.
Debra, Reset Missouri’s VP, has been in talks with numerous people around the area who work in various capacities concerning the register. Debra spoke with people in each of the local jurisdictions including St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County. She also spoke with multiple legal representatives who advocate on behalf of registrants. Each person said Reset Missouri is necessary because they all have people to refer to us. The need is great. We would be full within a week of open registration. But…they cannot guarantee we would be able to stay because of future residency issues that could arise.
This is quite the conundrum. But, let me be clear. This is an obstacle, not a stopping point. We will continue to pursue our options. We will overcome this barrier, and we will provide housing for our most vulnerable men in 2021. We can and we must. We have overcome significant challenges in the past, and this will be no different. We will not be defeated.