Local reports from Chicago state that children are being led past sex offender shelters while on their “safe passage routes” to school. An old church building housing 65 registered child sex offenders is located right along the passage. “It’s a lot of kids around here,” said one of the shelter guests, Santiago Orlando, who said he didn’t realize the church housed sex offenders. The two nearby schools are Faraday and Jensen Elementary, Calhoun and Marshall High Schools.
Cynthia Jones Northington, a director affiliated with the shelter, says she didn’t know about the “safe passage routes.” “We actually just saw the signs; that raised red flags for us. So we have some tremendous concerns.” If guests sit, stand, or loiter near the shelter, they could be arrested, according to Jones Northington. Shelter officials pledge better monitoring of shelter guests.
A spokesperson for the Chicago Public Schools said, “In cases where there are overnight or transition shelters and homes, both the Department of Family Support Services and the Chicago Police Department worked in coordination with facility operators to be prepared for the launch of these safe passage routes.”