Teen Group Looking For New Location After Learning of Sex Offender Neighbors - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/19/05

Teen Group Looking For New Location After Learning of Sex Offender Neighbors

One wall separates two registered sex offenders and 40 teens. NewsChannel 11 learned the news Friday morning, called police and informed the director of the Teen Recovery Club that the place where his teens meet each week shares the same address as the sex offenders.

The program held meetings at 3420 27th, and right next door, in the connecting building, is where two registered sex offenders live. Police do not have any reason to believe the sex offenders have done anything inappropriate with the teens, but the director says either way, the meeting place must move.

"For the safety of our kids, we'll have to shut it down," said group director Aubin Alvarez.

Alvarez could only describe his feelings in one word...shock. "We had no prior knowledge, now that we know we'll take appropriate action, it was shock, shock, shock to find that out," said Alvarez.

Lubbock Police informed Alvarez Friday morning that his meeting place shared a wall with two registered sex offenders. "It's a valid concern. That's why we put out notices so people can have access," says Cpl. Mark Long, LPD.

40 teens attend meetings every week, but police say no one has filed complaints against the offenders. Long says, "the only people that know if they're going to re-offend are the sex offenders themselves." Alvarez adds, "it's not full proof but they have to get through me to get to the kids."

The group met at the house because it was free, and being unfunded, Aubin's biggest fear is that he'll have to turn away teens in need. "I've always said we'll never close our doors, and you never know when someone will get courage to get help," says Alvarez.

Troubled teens come to the group to get help with drugs or any other problems. For more information about the program or to make a donation, call 544-5255.

7/29/2005
Recent Tragedies Provide Powerful Lessons for Teen Recovery Leader
Various support groups exist for those released from jail or juvenile detention so that they can change. One local group takes incidents, like the one involving Fermin Martinez, as examples from which to learn.

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