|THE ONCE FALLEN HOUSING GUIDE
A Guide by Derek W. Logue
Last Update May 2, 2010-- Last update January 28, 2012
The two most common questions that are asked of me are how to find housing and how to find employment. This
page will cover finding general tips on how to find sex offender housing as well as provide info on specific programs
that assist in housing or halfway houses. This page does not address the legalities of residency and housing
issues; those issues are covered in other parts of the Once Fallen website.
THE BAD NEWS
The bad news is housing options are very limited especially in areas with strict residency restriction laws. Even in
areas not enforcing residency restrictions, few people are willing to rent to those on the registries, as noted in my
own study on obtaining housing in 2006.
THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is that there are ways to find housing. Below are a few general tips on finding housing.
TIP #1: FINDING LEADS
The most important tip is using any local leads to obtain housing in your area. Many of the larger churches may
offer leads not generally offered by HUD or other government agency. HUD is a waste of time, and there is actually
a law in place that gives HUD the authority to reject tenants with lifetime registration requirements. During
registration, talking to other registrants there may give you a lead.
TIP #2: USING THE REGISTRY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Ironically, a good way to find available housing in your area might be to get on the registry and see where the
registrants in your area are living. Many registry sites also have mapping software. For once, the registry actually
has a useful purpose.
TIP #3: DON'T GET DISCOURAGED
Finding a place to live is like finding a needle in a haystack, so expect a lot of rejection, especially in places with
residency restrictions. They are out there, its just a long, difficult process.
TIP #4: BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY
It is aggravating, but be sure you check with the sheriff's office before you move in, because sometimes cities,
townships, or counties have residency laws that differ from the laws imposed by the state. Also, be honest with your
landlord. Those two things will save you a lot of headache later on. Better to be rejected for honesty than arrested
for dishonesty. Also, be sure you have enough for rent and deposit. Generally a deposit is equal to a month's rent.
Chances are, you may even have to pay an application fee. Be ready for this, and work on your credit rating if you
have no credit or bad credit.
TIP #5: C-Y-A (Cover Your @$$)
If you find a place, consider yourself lucky or blessed. However, it is important to remember wherever you find
yourself, remember there can be complications even after you've settled in. It should be a no-brainer, but be sure to
register with the Sheriff's office ASAP; don't delay, as many areas have short registration periods.. I suggest getting
Renter's Insurance; most Insurance companies offer Renter's Insurance for around $15 a month, and it will cover
you in case of theft, fire, or other problems. Also, I suggest keeping about three month's rent in a savings account.
Even if you are on disability, keep about $1200 or so in your account at all times (Rules of Social Security Disability/
SSI allows you to keep up to $1500 in savings without penalty. This applies to those on SSI, the rules to those
drawing from the lifetime earnings fall under different rules. You can contact Social Security for specific rules on
property and savings issues). I'd also suggest you improve your credit rating. Keep in mind also that there is always
the chance that the feds will swing by for compliance checks; under the controversial Adam Walsh Act, the US
Marshals have been given jurisdiction in compliance checks. Remember just because you are on a registry does
not mean they can come in and check your residence without a warrant. That being said,
"No police agency or even the US Marshals can come into any residence without a warrant, if a person is off of
supervision. The only time they can is, if it is an emergency (fire, or other such emergency) or they hear someone
being hurt...." [assist goes to eAdvocate. I had forgotten to add this to my initial article]
TIP #6: MOVING TO ANOTHER STATE
Moving to another state is a greater hassle than moving across town. Because cities, counties, and states have
differing laws, the best way to find out what laws are applicable in your area is to contact the Sheriff's office in the
county you want to move to. You may have to fill out a "notice of intent to move/ reside" form. Another major
problem is states register offenders differently. You may live in a state that gives you a "Tier 1/ Low Risk"
designation with 10 year registration in one state, while another state gives lifetime registration or may reclassify
you a Tier 3/ High Risk" because of the circumstances of your crime. Once you are raised in Tier levels, it is hard to
go back down. Also, some states do not simply restrict where you live, but restrict who you live with, which is
especially important if you are planning on moving to a residence where a minor resides. This applies to any
registrant, not always ones with child victims.
POST RELEASE HOUSING
Post-release housing is difficult to find. I've found a few, listed below. I'll post more as I find it, but even after years of
doing this, the housing listed below are the only leads I have. The contact info can be found below. Listing them
here does not imply any mutual endorsement, and each program has differing standards regarding admission, fees,
and regulations, so contact them directly for more information.
ADDENDUM 5/12/10: WARNING CONCERNING COPY MACHINES AND PRIVACY
Another assist from eAdvocate, something you may want to keep in mind since many Realtors and renters use
copying machines. Copying machines could be storing your personal information, which could be accessed by Law
Enforcement, or worse, by identity thieves and data miners.
See the story here: http://sexoffenderresearch.blogspot.com/2010/05/are-police-and-other-registering.html
Post-Release Housing Options -- Transitional Housing or Shelters open to Registrants
[Any leads on more housing GREATLY NEEDED! If any of these leads are no longer valid, please contact
me immediately so we can remain current for others in need. Simply being listed here is no guarantee
of accuracy or service. For more info and on rules and restrictions, find the contact info on each site]
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