Posted at: 05/06/2014 6:08 PM
Updated at: 05/06/2014 7:38 PM
By: Brett Davidsen
News10NBC has an update on convicted sex offenders living in a Batavia motel where families who need help are sent to live.
On Tuesday, Genesee County answered News10NBC’s questions about why and how this happened. We learned that changes are being made to better protect families.
The motel is on West Main Street in Batavia. Genesee County Social Services is housing families there with level three sex offenders. County officials saw News10NBC’s report and now they say they are taking action.
Homeless women and children, looking for a helping hand, are placed by Genesee County in a motel in Batavia as a temporary shelter. Paroled sex offenders are also housed in the same motel.
“Jill" said, "I think their obligation is to place us in safer housing. They know they're placing sex offenders here which they do."
The woman says she lived at the motel last fall with three children in her care, only to find a sex offender living two doors down.
News10NBC returned to Batavia and stopped at the Genesee County Department of Social Services to get answers about how that could happen. We were told the Department of Social Services Commissioner was out of the office Tuesday. We were able to speak with her boss, county manager Jay Gsell. He says the New York State Department of Parole doesn't inform the county when they're bringing sex offenders back into the community or where they're placing them. As a result of our report, he says they're now in better communication with parole.
Jay Gsell, Genesee County Manager, said, “So we've asked parole to start doing a better job of communicating with us the day they're bringing somebody into the community or releasing them back to the community so we can try to avoid the circumstances we had recently."
Whether that's changed the current situation at the motel is not exactly clear. According to the New York State Sex Offender Registry, three men are still living here. News10NBC also saw the same stroller we saw last week, outside a room where a family with young children was staying. Gsell says the challenge they face is finding suitable alternatives.
Gsell said, "When it comes to the part of the situation that we've been dealing with in the past couple weeks, it's a matter of what alternate locations can we find, particularly for the family and or any individuals who are not part of the state parole system.”
The county manager says there is no homeless shelter in Genesee County and there are only a couple of places in town that will take in homeless DSS clients.