Sex Offenders Found Residing in Bronx Family Homeless Shelter


Former Capri Whitestone Motel is now a homeless shelter for families.

Community members are outraged after a former Bronx motel turned homeless shelter has two registered sex offenders living in the facility.

The former hot-sheets motel, Capri-Whitestone, known for it’s blood stained mattresses and bed bugs closed last year with the hope from community members that it would be developed into something that would accompany Donald Trump’s new golf course. Instead, the motel was turned over to Acacia Network, a non-profit organization that opened the building as a homeless shelter for families.

However, there are currently two registered sex offenders, Curtis Bolden and James Bryant who are listed as living at the shelter.

According to the NY State Division of Criminal Justice website (a publicly accessible website), Curtis Bolden was convicted in 1980 for raping two women. James Bryant was convicted in 2004 for aggressive sexual assault of a 7 year old child. Bolden is listed a level 3 offender while Bryant is a level 2 offender.

A level 3 offender is considered at high risk of repeat offenses and a threat to public safety, as stated by the NY State Division of Criminal Justice website.

Left: Curtis Bolden Right: James Bryant

Left: Curtis Bolden
Right: James Bryant

Back in September 2014, Community Board 10 invited representatives from the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and Acacia Network to speak on their roles dealing with the new shelter at the former motel.

A representative from DHS went through a powerpoint presentation making the case that homeless shelters are needed. Her case is strong, citing that there are 56,000 individuals experiencing homelessness and this number is growing. However, she specifically says, “These are families coming in with small children and these people are experiencing the worse times of their lives.” She goes on to say, “One of the top five reasons families are homeless today are due to domestic violence. Women are facing or surviving domestic violence in the home.”

Raul Russi, CEO of Acacia Network, touted that their other homeless shelters had 24 hour security guards with no incidents at the other facilities. Representatives from both organizations claimed to have good working relationships with the communities they were in, with the DHS representative saying, “We are here trying to bring your new neighbors into your community and try to empower each of you to hold us accountable in how we integrate them into your community.”

The full board meeting can be viewed below (video c/o Bronx Chronicle Associate Editor, Annie Boller):

“The DHS should absolutely be held accountable. They had the audacity to lecture us on moral obligations but then allow registered sex offenders into a homeless shelter for families with kids.” said Annie Boller, Community Board 10 member and Treasurer for the 45th Precinct Community Council.

After several attempts to contact representatives from DHS and Acacia Network, neither could be reached for comment.


Photo c/o Senator Jeff Klein’s office

In response to community outrage, Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, Councilman James Vacca, and community leaders held a press conference this afternoon to ask for a ban of level two and level three sex offenders from homeless shelters. “Furthermore, sex offenders should not be placed in a home that clearly houses women and children. We fully support Senator Klein’s efforts to pass a bill which would ban registered sex offenders from residing in any family homeless shelter.” said President of the Ferry Point Civic Association, Jo Anne Sohmers.

Along with banning sex offenders from homeless shelters for families, if enacted, legislation S.S851-2015 would require that offenders be placed in adult-only shelters.

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