DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING CORRUPT NONPROFITS LIKE BOULDER SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS!
By Max R. Weller
Boulder Shelter for the Homeless executive director Greg Harms is a slickster with words, using them in commentaries published in the Daily Camera to create false impressions in the minds of his readers — although it’s without doubt true that nobody else is as impressed by Harms’ efforts, written or otherwise, as he is himself. I now believe the poor man is deluded . . .
See: The best option in a difficult situation from the DC. Excerpt copied below, which is what I’ll focus on in this post:
The reason the shelter accepts local sex offenders is that law enforcement believes, and we concur, that the community is safer when offenders are sleeping at the shelter rather than living on the streets. When someone has served their time and is released from prison, it is up to the state Parole Board to determine the conditions of the release. Parolees are released back to the location of their prosecution, which, in Mr. Lawyer’s case, is Boulder County. Neither the shelter nor local law enforcement has any control over the conditions of the release. When a sex offender is released into our community, and they are homeless, there are really only two options. The offender can stay at the shelter at night, or live on the streets 24-hours a day.
What happens when a convicted sex offender is no longer on parole? IN FACT, they are then free to go anywhere they choose inside or outside of Colorado. The requirement to register as a sex offender with local law enforcement continues for life, but many offenders fail to do so.
Which brings us to “Sexually Violent Predator” Kerry Whitfield of Denver, CO. His original crime was committed in that city, but a few years ago he arrived in Boulder while still on parole. He was promptly accepted into BSH’s First Step / Transition Program, but one day decided to leave without notice to anyone. A series of arrests followed as he continued to utilize local homeless shelter / services providers for support; these included Bridge House and BSH as well as others. At some point, Mr. Whitfield began selling drugs on or near the premises of Boulder Shelter to homeless women he met there. See: Women say Boulder sexual predator assaulted them after they bought drugs from him. Article copied below in its entirety:
A sexually violent predator arrested last week reportedly sexually assaulted two women who were buying drugs from him, including one woman who said he assaulted her dozens of times over the course of a month.
Kerry Fitzgerald Whitfield, 51, was arrested in Longmont on Thursday on suspicion of two counts of sexual assault on a physically helpless victim and one count of unlawful sale of a controlled substance.
According to an arrest affidavit, a woman went to Boulder police in October and said Whitfield sexually assaulted her about a month prior. The woman said Whitfield is known as “Special K” and is known as a source of drugs such as heroin, morphine, speed and “oxy.”
On Sept. 19, the woman contacted Whitfield to buy heroin from him. After taking the drugs, the woman said the two were sleeping in the van when he sexually assaulted her (I understand this occurred in the parking lot of Bustop Gentlemen’s Club, next door to BSH — MRW).
In the second case, a woman came to police this month and said Whitfield had sexually assaulted her last summer, according to the affidavit.
The woman said she met Whitfield in August of 2015 to buy drugs from him (I understand that they met at BSH — MRW). She said he began to withhold the drugs from her and began to demand sexual favors.
The woman said Whitfield sexually assaulted her more than 30 times over the course of the month, and that he also made her perform sexual acts with other women buying drugs from him so he could videotape them.
Whitfield’s history includes 22 arrests in Washington between 1982 and 1998 and at least 50 arrests in Colorado since 1998.
Whitfield is currently in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $500,000 bond while he awaits a formal filing of charges on Tuesday.
“In every case, the filing decision is ultimately determined by what the admissable evidence is and whether we can prove the crimes we charge,” said Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett. “But we do also look at the criminal history of a defendant.”
As a sexually violent predator, Whitfield is required to register his address and local law enforcement is required to send out a bulletin to the community he moves to. Whitfield had been registering with both Boulder — where he lived out of his van — and in Aurora, where he worked.
In the past several years, Boulder County law enforcement agencies have sent out several bulletins on Whitfield, the most recent being in March, a few weeks before the second woman came to police.
Boulder Sheriff Joe Pelle said there is always a concern when a sexually violent predator moves into the area.
“They’re termed ‘sexually violent predators,’ and a part of the criteria for obtaining that classification is a high risk of re-offending,” Pelle said.
In cases where the sexually violent predators are still on parole or probation, Pelle said there are ways to monitor their movement and their behavior. But for sexually violent predators who move in to the county not currently serving out a sentence — as Whitfield was — Pelle said there is not much law enforcement can do aside from make sure they keep up their registration and send out the necessary bulletins.
“The bottom line is they’ve been through this system, they’ve been through prison or parole, and there’s not a way to prevent them from coming back into the community,” Pelle said. “The best we can do is raise community awareness.”
Pelle also said a challenge of keeping track of some sexually violent predators is that many can’t find housing and jobs due to their status. Because of this, many register as either transient or list vehicles as an address, as Whitfield did with his van.”
“When they’re homeless or living out of a car, they are even more difficult for us to keep track of,” Pelle said. “It’s a double-edged sword.”
Garnett said the laws need to allow sex offenders the chance to rehabilitate while also trying to keep the community safe.
“It’s a difficult situation,” Garnett said. “We have to balance the need for people to rehabilitate and to integrate back into the community with the obligation that everybody in law enforcement has to protect the community, particularly from someone as dangerous as a sex offender.”
Most recent news on Kerry Whitfield is from this past January: Boulder ‘sexually violent predator’ Kerry Whitfield released from custody from the Daily Camera.
What do you suppose would happen if Mr. Whitfield showed up on the doorstep of BSH today, wanting to apply for the 90-day Summer Bed Program or the First Step / Transition Program? I can fearlessly predict that he would be welcomed — per the twisted leadership of executive director Greg Harms. BTW, the folks running other homeless shelters across America also do NOT agree with accepting registered sex offenders into their facilities; are we to believe what Mr. Harms implies, that only he is right and everyone else is wrong?
What’s the real reason for providing parole beds to perverts, anyway? See this DC report: Colorado paying $280 a week for ‘sexually violent predator’ to live at Boulder homeless shelter. Strange, but Greg Harms forgot to mention the $$$ in his commentary . . . Compare that $280 to the going rate of $25 per week paid by other program residents (who can do extra chores and have that modest fee waived altogether).
Because he’s now off parole, Colorado DOC would not pay for Kerry Whitfield to again stay at the [Harms Hotel], but the executive director is so full of himself he probably still believes he can help to “rehabilitate” these characters. Most rational people would disagree:
Maybe it’s time for folks in the neighborhood to take a more militant stance!