Parents petition against home for ex-convicts set to open near kindergarten

Posted: Updated:
OSSINING -

Parents in Ossining say they are considering pulling their children out of Park School because a home for ex-convicts is set to open directly across the street from the kindergarten.

The abandoned, single-family home on Washington Avenue was purchased by Hudson Link two years ago. The nonprofit provides education and support to formerly incarcerated people to help them transition back into the real world.

A Hudson Link spokesperson says sex offenders, who aren't allowed to live within 1,000 feet of a school, won't be moving into the house.

The home has room for five people, and News 12 was told that every person living there will be under supervision.

Parents say they still fear for their children's safety, and nearly 300 people have signed a petition in opposition of the plan.

Hudson Link's executive director Sean Pica, an ex-convict himself, released a statement saying in part, "We believe the future residents of this home, having fulfilled their debts to society, have every right to a second chance."

Pica declined to share who's moving in and their criminal history.

Mayor Victoria Gearity says the village had no role in approving the use of the property because it meets the definition of a single-family home.

Residents say communication between Hudson Link and the community is a failure.

“We think they should rethink their actions in terms of how they want to engage with this community and the public and go about it more sensibly and choose a more sensible location and choose to work with the community in an honest and transparent way," says Ossining resident David Mallen.

The home is scheduled to open later this spring.

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