DOC May Have To Pay For Sex Offenders To Stay In Motels

Closing Of Crossroads Shelter Leaves Law Enforcement Scrambling

The Department of Corrections and the Denver Police Department told 7NEWS they were scrambling to find alternative housing for roughly 100 registered sex offenders who currently stay at Crossroads, an overnight men's shelter run by the Salvation Army.

Last week, the Salvation Army announced they would be closing the shelter by mid-August. The city and law enforcement urged them to keep it open until Aug. 31.

Sex offenders told 7NEWS that housing isn't easy to come by because of the stigma associated with the crime. They said they can't find a job and can't find a place to live.

Law enforcement officers said they understand, which is why they believe Crossroads worked so well for these men.

In many cases, the DOC even paid the $35 a week required for a bed. DOC spokesman Tim Hand said the Dept. of Corrections had to find and provide a transitional housing situation for men who couldn't afford it and Crossroads made it easier for them to monitor the offenders in their system.

Now, the DOC will be forced to go to the families of sex offenders and ask them to take these men in. If that doesn't work they will be forced to put them in motels.

Hand said the Dept. of Corrections will have to look at their budget because the money comes out of their general fund and they were not prepared for Crossroads' closing.

In response to questions regarding tracking men under their watch, Hand said all 70 sex offenders registered at Crossroads had some form of electronic monitoring device.

Finding sex offenders a place to live did prompt 7NEWS to ask the city why the "Road Home" initiative didn't address the issue.

The Department of Human Services said it was reviewing the "crack in the system" and law enforcement and homeless providers were in talks to find all homeless a place to live.