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Friday, October 25, 2013

Door-to-Door Solicitors Get "Ok" From Fort Thomas

A flyer that the Cincinnati Restoration Church hands out. 
Amid several concerned emails and messages to our Facebook page, FTM began looking into a group that has been soliciting donations door to door throughout the city. The first correspondence that we received from a reader was October 9.


The group, The Cincinnati Restoration Church (website here) located on Harrison Ave. in Colerain, is according to its website "Missionaries to the Drug Addicts." Also from their website:

"CRC provides a live-in restoration men's home free of charge to anyone who is suffering from a drug and/or alcohol addiction and is ready to turn their life over to Jesus Christ."

It is a 9-month program. There is also a women's program which mirrors the men's, although it is not an overnight program.

According to the city, the Cincinnati Restoration Church did follow the protocol in order to obtain a permit. From the City of Fort Thomas, City Administrator, Don Martin:

When a non-profit group desires to solicit the City requires that they
first complete an application and register with the police department.
We require a driver's license or current I.D. to ensure they have a
clean criminal background.  The permit specifies who will be soliciting,
and the timeframe they are permitted to solicit. 
Obviously the drug epidemic in our region is far reaching and as far as we know, organizations like the CRC are helping to combat this. But a few questions have arisen from concerned emails. The following is a typical one that we've received:

"We had someone soliciting today. He mentioned he has been off of prescription pain meds for 9 months. As I'm holding my 4-month old in my arms, he asks if I'd like to donate money to the Men's & Women's home (located on the West side of Cincinnati.) I was extremely uneasy and mentioned that I had no cash. 

I immediately called the Ft. Thomas Police administration desk. (They) informed me that I was not the only person that called, but (the group) roaming around had a permit to do so. Why in the world would some group from out of town be here and why are they given permission to do so?"

Here is an excerpt of the permit granted by the Fort Thomas Police to the Cincinnati Restoration Church:

"A representative of the Cincinnati Restoration Church has been granted permission to conduct a door to door canvass in the community October 24, 2013 thru December 31, 2013 between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. This is no means an endorsement of the Cincinnati Restoration Church." 

It is not clear if the CRC had obtained a permit prior to yesterday, October 24. We have inquiries into the FTPD and the city to clear up any concerns.

UPDATE: 
This was the third permit issued for them.  The first two were for shorter periods. Rather than issue a permit each day they wanted to be in town, the PD issued one covering the rest of the year. 

4 comments:

  1. Isn't granting the permit in and of itself an endorsement of the group?

    And why does the permit say from October 24 if they had been soliciting prior to that?

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  2. I know this group is probably doing a good thing, but giving a group from Cincinnati permission to do ANYTHING door-to-door right now probably isn't very prudent.

    According to the police dept. via FortThomasMatters, isn't this the EXACT M-O of these daytime burglars to move door to door to "case" the home until they find a vulnerable home?

    Again, I know this group probably has the best intentions, but with the way our world is right now, there's got to be another way to solicit donations. The city should know better than this. They had to know it was going to upset residents.

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  3. I don't think it's up to the Fort Thomas Police Department to deny a permit, provided the group meets the very limited qualifications. That would be a free speech issue, and the FTPD doesn't get to decide who can solicit, beyond doing criminal background checks and verifying the solicitors are who they say they are, and that they are following city rules and regulations.

    So, the city does know better... than to deny someone their first amendment rights. Residents who have hurt feelings should probably seek counseling.

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  4. Nobody said that the Police Dept. should ahve denied the permit, it was only stated that the CITY should have known better. I do not disagree with the fact that the City had to do what it had to do, but it is still a bad idea.

    ReplyDelete