Monday, January 26, 2015

A Suffolk Virginia Christain Organization "Coalition Against Poverty" Offers Shelter to the Homeless During the Cold Winter, Unless You Are a Registered Sex Offender!

Dear Victoria Bourne of the Virginian Pilot, the Coalition Against Poverty and it's partners, 

I just read the recent Virginian Pilot article Suffolk group partners with churches to help homeless 

So is it my understanding (per the article) if any homeless Virginian looking for shelter is listed on the Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry they will be turned away by the Coalition Against Poverty denying them a warm place to sleep for a few hours simply because of a conviction from 5, 10, 15, 20 years ago? 

But you don't turn away anyone convicted of any other crime like murder, drugs, robbery, assault, battery, burglary, larceny, DUI, domestic violence or animal abuse?  

How can the Coalition Against Poverty, a network of Christian churches and organizations turn people who are in need away? 

That's not an act of Christianity. 

That's not forgiveness, offering a second chance or a hand-up to those in need. 

Those listed on the VSP Registry include people with disabilities, mental illness, health issues, Veteran's, fathers, spouses, women and juveniles and yet you have determined if they are listed they are not worthy of receiving your assistance of a warm shelter or food. Today there are more than 21, 300 Registered Sex Offenders in Virginia and each year an average of 1,008 new people are added. 

I would recommend the Coalition Against Poverty and every Christian partner take a hard look at this prejudicial policy and if you continue to discriminate against Virginians based on a government mandated label for one type of conviction you should add this information to each and every mission statement so donors, members and those you serve know you pick and chose who is worthy of your charity. 


Mary Devoy