TIMELINE: The Fight for Safety & Opportunity

The following timeline details the events leading up to and immediately following The Doe Fund’s lawsuit against DHS, The City of New York, and Commissioner Gilbert Taylor to stop the administration’s transfer of sex offenders into the Peter Jay Sharp Center for Opportunity.

In the two years before the Department of Homeless Services’ attempt to disperse sex offenders into the community, the homeless population soared nearly 20%, from 50,135 in January 2013 to 60,067 in March, 2015 — one month before the rape of a young woman in a Kips Bay bar by a sex offender.

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Homeless Population Peaks Under De Blasio Administration

March 31, 2015

According to the homeless census data published by the Department of Homeless Services and the Human Resources Administration, the homeless population reaches an all-time high of nearly 61,000  individuals in the first quarter of 2015.

Kips Bay Rape

April 11, 2015

A young woman is raped in a Kips Bay bar.  The perpetrator is identified as a registered sex offender housed by the Department of Homeless Services at their Bellevue Men’s Shelter.

DHS Begins Sex Offender Purge

April 21, 2015

The Department of Homeless Services begins transferring sex offenders out of the Bellevue Men’s Shelter and into its network of provider-operated shelters, beginning with the most dangerous population: level 3 sex offenders.

Shelter Director Anna Charle Murdered

April 27, 2015

A shelter director at Project Renewal’s Bronx men’s shelter, Anna Charle, is brutally murdered by a former client. The shelter was designated as a mental health and sex offender facility by the Department of Homeless Services.

DHS to The Doe Fund: Prepare for Transfers

June 12, 2015

The Department of Homeless Services demands The Doe Fund remove 50 active trainees from Ready, Willing & Able and replace them with registered sex offenders.  The Doe Fund refuses to comply.

The Doe Fund Sues DHS, NYC

June 17, 2015

The Doe Fund files suit in State Supreme Court to bar the transfer of sex offenders into its facilities. During the preliminary hearing, the case is allowed to proceed but The Doe Fund’s request for a temporary restraining order to halt any transfers in the interim is denied.

Appellate Court Denies TRO

June 18, 2015

The Doe Fund appeals for a temporary restraining order against the Department of Homeless Services, but is denied by a Brooklyn Appellate court. Despite the absence of an enforceable TRO, The Doe Fund continues to refuse the transfers demanded by DHS.

NBC Covers Battle With DHS

June 18, 2015

NBC’s Melissa Russo files investigative reports on The Doe Fund’s fight to keep sex offenders out of its facilities.

Harriet McDonald Releases Official Statement

June 19, 2015

Executive Vice President of The Doe Fund and co-founder of the Ready, Willing & Able transitional work program Harriet McDonald issues an official statement on DHS’s demands and the organization’s refusal to comply.

DHS Attempts to Deliver Sex Offenders to Porter Avenue

June 19, 2015

Immediately following the denial of the temporary restraining order requested by The Doe Fund in court, DHS attempts to deliver sex offenders to the front door of the Porter Avenue facility on several occasions.  Each time, The Doe Fund provides private transportation for the individuals back to DHS. The individuals’ conviction histories include the rapes of girls and boys ages 3 through 15.

The Post Argues For The Doe Fund

June 21, 2015

The Post Argues For The Doe Fund

The New York Post’s board publishes an editorial advocating The Doe Fund’s position, writing, “DHS has a moral duty to put [sex offenders] somewhere else and not ruin a model for turning around the lives of the homeless.”

The Doe Fund Protests at DHS

June 24, 2015

In a massive demonstration outside DHS headquarters, The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program protests the agency’s demand to remove 50 individuals from The Doe Fund’s Porter Avenue facility in Brooklyn and replace them with sex offenders.  The protest is covered by NBC, ABC, PIX11 and the New York Daily News.

Protest at Gracie Mansion

July 1, 2015

Hundreds of “men in blue” from The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able transitional work program stage a protest outside Gracie Mansion. They mayor’s motorcade passes by the crowd as he departs for a nine day vacation in Italy. Video of the protest is here.

Harriet McDonald on Inside City Hall

July 8, 2015

Executive Vice President of The Doe Fund, Harriet McDonald, appears on Inside City Hall with Errol Louis to discuss the fight against DHS, why sex offenders need specialized services, and why Ready, Willing & Able must be protected and preserved for those without a history of criminal sexual offenses.

2,000 New Yorkers Sign On to Fight DHS

August 1, 2015

Over 2,000 concerned New Yorkers sign a petition to stop the administration from transferring sex offenders to The Doe Fund’s facility in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Bushwick Speaks Out on NY1

August 6, 2015

On Wednesday, August 5th, The Doe Fund held a Town Hall meeting at its Bushwick facility to hear concerns from the community about the administration’s sex offender plan.  The meeting was attended by representatives from the State and City governments, local residents, and business owners and covered by NY1.

The Daily News Advocates for The Doe Fund

August 31, 2015

The New York Daily News publishes an op-ed advocating for specialized services for sex offenders and to preserve The Doe Fund’s programs for the population it serves best: individuals deprived of economic opportunity.

Deputy Mayor Overseeing DHS Resigns

September 2, 2015

Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Lilliam Barrios-Paoli resigns after 20 months overseeing the city’s response to the homelessness crisis.  The New York Times covers the transition and includes an interview with The Doe Fund’s founder and president, George McDonald.

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About Author: The Doe Fund

Founded in 1985, The Doe Fund provides life-transforming services for the homeless, the formerly incarcerated, disenfranchised youth, and people living with AIDS. The organization's flagship Ready, Willing & Able program has helped tens of thousands of individuals achieve permanent self sufficiency through paid work, transitional housing, and employment training.