I just read this: "True Vine Ministries on Morganton Road to offer shelter for homeless on 'white flag' nights."
"White flag nights" are nights when the outside temperature in this part of North Carolina is expected to go below the freezing level. According to the article, the week between Christmas and New Year saw "multiple" white flag nights.
My fury went from 0 to 10 when I read this sentence: "Anyone can seek white flag shelter regardless of their status with the Salvation Army unless they are sex offenders, have previously assaulted Salvation Army staff members or residents, or have been terminated for having a weapon in the shelter."
Unless they are sex offenders.
I dashed off this response on their comment board:
" 'Anyone can seek white flag shelter...unless they are sex offenders....' Just to be sure I have this straight...a murderer, a dope dealer, and an arsonist are all welcome. However, the man who is on the registry because he had underage sex ten years ago at 18 with the woman who is now his wife will be turned away. Yeah, makes sense. Will his wife and child be allowed in and only he left to freeze outside? Just wondering...."But that isn't sufficient. This CANNOT be tolerated. How dare an organization--a church in partnership with the Salvation Army--one that is unarguably doing good deeds, one that claims to be doing God's work, one that has to have the safety of those it serves as their primary motivation, just disallow, with those five words, a segment of society based on nothing but their inclusion in a group who are as diverse in deeds and character as--well, as any other group.
Unless they are sex offenders.
I had just read another article before this one. It tells of a Virginia state trooper who was charged with and pleaded guilty to a multitude of sexual crimes against a child. A kindly judge is allowing him to serve only 30 days jail time and two years probation of a nine year sentence and--the kicker--he will somehow not be required to register on the sex offender registry. The crimes to which he pleaded are, the article points out, "almost identical" to those for which this same judge not long ago--and not nearly so kindly--sentenced another man to 66 years in prison and--of course--he will be subject to registration should he live long enough to get out.
So this man, this law enforcement officer, would have no difficulty whatsoever seeking and being granted shelter at the True Vine Ministries should he find himself homeless on a frigid night; he isn't on the public registry; therefore, he isn't a "sex offender." But the man I referred to in my comment on the article, the man who as a high school senior had pre-marital sex with his sophomore girlfriend and was put on the registry when her mother reported their activity, the man who has been married to that
This CANNOT be tolerated. This MUST not be tolerated. Those on the registry, as a random group, pose no greater danger to the safety or well-being of their fellow human beings than any other random group of homeless citizens seeking refuge from the elements.
I hope that no registrant, being turned away from True Vine Ministries, dies as a result. However, if he should, I hope that the organization, along with the Salvation Army, will know that his blood is on their hands.