I'd rather be dead. The shelter, she said, is in the northwest Georgia city of Rome and beds are often unavailable. He said sex offenders at the site are required to report once a week and the office sends a field agent to the camp at least twice a week.
Florida officials say the sex offenders found the bridge on their own, while some residents of the camp dispute that. Critics say it's an example of how laws designed to keep Georgia's children out of harm's way create a hazard where penniless sex offenders live largely unsupervised at the government's urging. Several of the sex offenders in the camp said they did a double-take when their probation officers told them about the outpost. The tent city is similar to one in south Florida, where dozens of sex offenders moved under a remote bridge because it was among the few places that complied with local ordinances. Her husband had tried to make the meager outpost feel as much like home as possible as he waits for his probation to end early next year. He said probation officers direct them to the outpost if other options fail, such as transferring to another county or state or sending them to a relative's place that meets the requirements. In Georgia, however, Holt said state probation officers have directed homeless offenders into the woods. The nine sex offenders live in tents surrounding a makeshift fire pit in the trees behind a towering "no trespassing" sign, waiting out their probation sentences as they face numerous living restrictions under one of the nation's toughest sex offender policies. The former truck driver has been on the registry since he was convicted of attempted sexual battery of a year-old in when he was It's not the only place in Cobb County where offenders can live — there are hundreds of other sex offenders throughout the county living in compliance with the law. The muddy camp on the outskirts of prosperous Cobb County is an unintended consequence of Georgia's sex offender law, which bans the state's 16, sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1, feet of schools, churches, parks and other spots where children gather. The sheriff said the decision was made by the Georgia Department of Transportation, which owns the property, and Warren was uncertain where the offenders would go. He said sex offenders at the site are required to report once a week and the office sends a field agent to the camp at least twice a week. I'd rather be dead. It's just bad," said Johnson, who was convicted in of child molestation. Homeless shelters and halfway houses are often not an option, he said, because of the restrictions that bar them from being near children. He said after he emerged from his latest stint behind bars without a place to live, he was directed to the forest despite pleas from his wife to allow him to live at the couple's home in Swords Creek, Va. Geraghty said she has found only one homeless shelter in the state that meets the residency requirements for homeless sex offenders. The shelter, she said, is in the northwest Georgia city of Rome and beds are often unavailable. He added two of the sex offenders at the camp have landed jobs and are now moving toward more permanent housing, which he said is the department's "goal for all the offenders residing at this location. But Ahmed Holt, manager of the state's sex offender administration unit, calls the camp a "last resort" for homeless offenders who can't find another place to live that complies with the law. Now he is scrambling to find another place to pitch his tent in the next 24 hours. AP — A small group of homeless sex offenders have set up camp in densely wooded area behind a suburban Atlanta office park, directed there by probation officers who say it's a place of last resort for those with nowhere else to go.
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