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Sen. Standridge says proposed homeless shelter location puts children at risk

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, says the City of Norman’s proposed location for a low-barrier homeless shelter is a serious public safety risk, particularly for children attending school or receiving services from other nearby facilities.

Standridge noted the City of Norman had reportedly confirmed that there are 20 registered sex offenders who, in compliance with a state statute requiring them to notify local law enforcement of their residence, have claimed to be homeless.  But Standridge said it’s likely that there are actually more sex offenders in the homeless population who have not registered their residential status as required, making that number even higher.

“Under Oklahoma law, registered sex offenders cannot reside within 2,000 feet of a school, park or childcare center, but there is at least one school well within that zone,” Standridge said.  “The proposed homeless shelter would also be near a mental health facility for juveniles and a center to help children and families who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse. This is outrageous, and yet Mayor Clark and members of the city council are turning their backs on the safety of not just adult citizens, but our children as well.”

Standridge said he’s been in contact with private citizens and members of law enforcement who share his concerns about the risk to public safety posed by the shelter’s proposed location.  Among them is Cleveland County Sheriff Chris Amason, who voiced his opposition to the plan.

“As Sheriff, I am deeply concerned about potential risk for citizens, particularly children, when you’re talking about a population that could also include sexual predators,” Amason said.  “This proposed location is absolutely ill-advised.”

Standridge said while the community is right to help out those that are struggling, putting the safety and wellbeing of young children at risk should not be part of any solution.

“I call on Mayor Clark and the city council to do the honorable and commonsense thing for Norman – find a way to help those in need while not putting the lives and safety of children in jeopardy.”


For more information, contactSen. Rob Standridge at 405-521-5535 or email