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Florida Sex Offender Building Real Estate Empire

Registered sex offender Randy Young is building a small real estate empire in central Florida thanks to laws restricting where registered sex offenders may live.

Young owns seven properties and manages two dozen more that he rents to offenders. His enterprise is known as "Habitat for Sex Offenders."

"When I first got out and tried to find a place to live, it was very difficult," Young said, describing his properties as safe havens. "The first day you get out is scary. You don't know what's going to happen to you."

Florida law requires a 1,000-foot buffer between registered sex offenders and schools, day-care centers, parks, churches or libraries. Finding that kind of location - as well as a willing landlord - can be tricky.

Young, convicted of molesting a teen boy in 2003 in Volusia County, could not move in with his mother because her home was close to a church. He said he even was rejected by what he called the "crack" hotels of Orlando's Orange Blossom Trail. Then he found a trailer in the middle of nowhere.

While attending therapy session for sex offenders, Young made friends with several other men who had experienced similar problems. Some were staying at a hotel, but they were forced to move because a day care center was opening nearby.

"I let them move into my trailer," he said. "They were good tenants."

One thing led to another, and Young found himself in a growing business. He lives in his only Brevard property, another trailer in Cocoa, with roommate offenders.

He said he's pursuing more property in Brevard.

"I get calls from all over for help," he said. "Landlords call me, people in foreclosure call me and parents of children getting out of prison call me for help."

On his Web site, www.housingforsexoffenders.com, Young boasts being able to find living conditions for offenders anywhere in the state.

"Our friendly and exceptional service sets us apart from others offering roach-infested, run-down motels and overcrowded, roach-infested mobile homes," it states. "Other companies cannot meet our extensive resources and long-standing relationships with the community."

Clusters useful

Child safety advocate Kevin Gillick publishes a newspaper devoted to the whereabouts of area sexual offenders. He said registered offenders living close together may not be a bad thing.

"I think generally it's probably easier to better supervise them when they live in one place," he said.

But Gillick also said no one should feel sorry because offenders have it tough.

"I wonder if their victims have housing," he said. "I wonder if the victims have a higher rate of homelessness than they do."

Lt. Tod Goodyear, who heads the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Sex Crimes unit, said it's not uncommon for offenders to cluster. But he said he doesn't like what Young is doing.

"He brings in people from out of the county that normally would not be settling in Brevard," Goodyear said. "I also don't like that he's making money off of this because he knows the system as a sex offender."

Group support

Young said he turns a profit, but isn't getting rich.

He said it's most important for him to be a good neighbor, and his rules are strict: no drinking; no children on the property, even for visitation rights; no smokings; shirts required when leaving the house.

"Some guys hate me because of the rules," he said. "But sex offenders do much better in group situations. They can share their feeling and new experiences and help each other much like Alcoholics Anonymous."

5 Responses »

  1. Good for him. Turned a bad situation into an opportunity. Maybe one day these stupid witch hunt laws will be done away with.

  2. http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com

    When the counties go beyond the state requirement, then the homeless problem is the counties fault, and folks like Ron Book, who is running on emotion instead of truth and facts. History has proven that laws passed on emotion, always make for bad laws.

    To solve the homeless issues, repeal the county ordinances, and stick with the state 1,000 foot residency restriction. Although, there is no evidence at all, that residency restrictions do anything, except exile offenders who are trying everything within their power, to obey the laws, yet these very laws set them up to fail.

    Good for McCollum, it's about time someone had the guts to do what is right!

  3. To see more of this inhumane treatment of former sex offenders, visit this YouTube channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/JuliaTuttleCauseway

    Or my blog, here:

    http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/search/label/JuliaTuttle

    Many studies show that the recidivism of sex offenders are low, many show below 10% and so go as low as 3.5%, but, the media and politicians continue to help the moral panic by citing bogus statistics for ratings and votes.

    Remember, an election is coming up in Florida soon, so you can bet they will bust out the sex offender issues, like they do every election time.

    http://sexoffenderstudies.blogspot.com/search/label/Recidivism

    You can read more of my thoughts at my blog above, or on my Wiki site, here:

    http://sexoffenderissues.pbworks.com/My-Thoughts-About-The-Sex-Offender-Laws

    We must put aside hate and vengeance and work on preventing sexual abuse, which nothing about these laws do, they only provide a false sense of security to pacify the sheeple.

    Also, I forgot to mention the TONS of vigilante murders, arson, beatings and others from vigilantes using the registry as an online hit-list.

    Don't believe me? See here:

    http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2007/09/human-rights-issues.html

    http://www.geocities.com/voicism/harm-master.html

    http://on-murders.blogspot.com/

    http://on-suicides-deaths.blogspot.com/

  4. Also, I forgot to mention the TONS of vigilante murders, arson, beatings and others from vigilantes using the registry as an online hit-list.

    Don't believe me? See here:

    http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2007/09/human-rights-issues.html
    http://www.geocities.com/voicism/harm-master.html
    http://on-murders.blogspot.com/
    http://on-suicides-deaths.blogspot.com/

  5. Its great that Young stepped up to the plate since no one else in FLA has the balls to house Former Offenders. A stable living arrangement reduces recidivism. Truth @ http://www.oncefallen.com