Parents in New York City are livid this week after the city’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS) moved two convicted pedophiles and three other sex offenders in a homeless shelter near schools in Manhattan.

The New York Post reported that the five men were located at the Radisson Hotel at 52 William Street in Manhattan’s financial district as the hotel had been turned into a homeless shelter in March of 2020. The hotel was listed as the official address of four of the men as recently as October 21, according to the official sex offender registry.

The hotel is less than a block away from the Pine Street School for children in Pre-K and elementary school students. Another school and a daycare facility are within 500 feet of the shelter.

“As parents, we cannot count on local government to look out for our children,” one furious mother said. “I am not opposed to helping those in need and providing shelters for the homeless in my community, but I am against placing violent pedophiles with a block of schools.”

One of the men living at the hotel is Lee Jackson, 42, a Level 3 sexually violent offender, which is the worst of the worst. He was sentenced to ten years in prison for sexually assaulting a random 7-year-old girl in Brooklyn in 2005. Jackson, who was paroled in 2016,  also has a manslaughter conviction, though it is not clear if these two crimes are related.

Pedophile Lonzel McNeil, 53, is another resident of the shelter, and he was convicted of raping an 11-year-old girl in Brooklyn in 1993 before being paroled in 2000.

“It’s scary,” said one mother of two children attending the Pine Street School. “Families no longer feel safe. We don’t feel our kids are safe…I used to take nightly walks, 10 to 11 p.m. I no longer leave my house alone at night.”

Even one homeless resident of the hotel was not happy to learn that he would be sharing the facility with sex offenders, saying, “If you got kids you should feel the same way. There are certain things you just don’t do.”

A DHS spokesperson said that the agency places people in shelters “in accordance with State law, based on the information available to us via State databases – which are not updated live or in real-time.”

“While we cannot discuss any specific cases or disclose confidential case histories, which would violate NYS Social Services Law, at this time there are no [registered sex offenders] currently residing at this location,” he added.

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