Rally against shelters scheduled for Saturday

04/15/2010 12:00 AM |

A rally protesting the continued presence of sex offender shelters on the East End is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday at the County Center in Riverside.

Led by county Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) and Mason Haas — a Riverhead tax assessor and outspoken opponent of the shelter program — the group will rendezvous there before walking to the nearby county jail for a press event, officials said.

The jail property plays host to one of two shelters, which are actually construction trailers outfitted with cots. The other is located on county-owned land in Westhampton. State officials have expressed concern over the trailers due to a lack of showers or cooking facilities.

The county Department of Social Services has pared down the trailer population in recent months in favor of a voucher program that provides homeless sex offenders with $90 daily stipends for room and board. But western legislators have balked at authorizing necessary funds to fully execute the program. Lawmakers are now reportedly calling on Mr. Levy to scrap both systems and start over.