The latest eviction order came earlier this month: Some 70 paroled child sex offenders, now living in a flimsy village of tents, cardboard boxes and rusty campers in an industrial zone just east of Miami International Airport, were told they had to find a new home — yet again.
Miami-Dade County’s Health Department posted signs giving them until Dec. 5 to leave, citing illegal camping and unsanitary conditions. Because most South Florida counties and cities have laws designed to keep them far from children, the options for moving are few and far between — especially when most of them don’t have the money or means to move into permanent housing.
In the past few years, similar encampments of convicted sex offenders under harsh residency restrictions have been forced from sites under a bridge at the Julia Tuttle Causeway, off of Northeast 79th Street near another overpass and out of an Allapattah trailer park. They’ve also been tossed from a warehouse district in Hialeah near train tracks and from another industrial section of Miami-Dade not far from the old Miami Jai-Alai Fronton.
“It’s like a game of Whack-A-Mole,” said Pastor Frank Diaz, who visits several camps around Miami-Dade each week to feed, listen to and pray with a group most people disdain as social pariahs. “If they’re gone,” he said, “who cares?”