Ferriday aldermen take no action on ministry’s home for released prisoners
Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023
FERRIDAY, La. — An organization that aims to open a controversial transitional home for released prisoners in Ferriday asked the Board of Aldermen for its support a third time this week, but the board took no action.
Royal Priesthood Kingdom Ministries — also referred to as “Go Ye Ministries,” — had been using its main church facility at 416 E.E. Wallace Blvd. as Emergency Transitional Housing, a state reentry program that provides short-term housing to individuals released from prison.
But that changed when the State Fire Marshal’s Office cited its founder Angel Nicholas-Joseph for not having proper permits.
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Joseph approached the board in September seeking its approval and the board decided to take no action. The following month, the Ferriday Board of Aldermen rejected the proposal after Concordia Parish Sheriff David Hedrick spoke out saying it would bring sex offenders to Ferriday.
“I don’t think it’s a good thing to be bringing sex offenders from a big city like New Orleans into a small parish,” Hedrick said at the time, adding he didn’t know the ministry existed before Joseph met with Ferriday Aldermen.
Joseph responded Tuesday by saying she had no idea that the individuals released to her were sex offenders.
“He sent them to us,” she said. “We didn’t go to the jail to get them.”
Tamiko Bloodsaw, Chief Financial Officer for CPSO, responded from the audience at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We never sent any inmates. That’s not our job,” she said. “The sheriff’s office does not find housing for anyone who comes out of our facility. That’s something that they have to go through DOC (Department of Corrections) for.”
The Aldermen asked Joseph what she had been doing in Ferriday and what she is doing now.
Joseph said she currently has a house at 214 Fudickar St. that houses two people, not sex offenders.
Their work has included grass-cutting along Fudickar Street, cleaning empty lots, painting, tree trimming and more.
“We cut some elderly people’s grass for free, installed porches and painted houses.
We had a feeding program out of our own pocket where we were feeding and clothing them every day,” she said. “We’ve been helping a lot of people. We have suffered long and hard in this community trying to do all we can to help. We never asked the town for anything. … Now I
want you to help me continue the work of God in Ferriday.”
Alderwoman Gail Pryor asked, “How would we know that you are not housing sex offenders?”
Joseph said she would run background checks.
Alderman Andre Keys cut off the discussion, and said, “We’re getting off track. Ferriday can’t do anything. We’re just here to get an update on what you are doing and that was it.”
In other matters during Tuesday’s meeting, Mayor Rydell Turner gave an update on sewer issues in Ferriday after month of complaints from residents and business owners about raw sewage leaking onto their properties.
Engineers of Bryant Hammett & Associates said repairs could take two or three-years, Turner said. “It’s in bad shape.”
This week, Jabar Corporation of Calhoun began emergency sewage repairs behind KFC in Ferriday. The project scope includes repair of a busted pipe, restoring connections and removal and replacing asphalt to work on the pipes for $72,174.10.
Last month, Turner blamed the sewage problems restaurants not cleaning their grease traps. Adding to this problem, he said, is pipes damaged by people dumping bricks and debris and even guns into manholes and drains, Turner said, adding anyone who notices this type of activity needs to contact the Ferriday Police Department.