Letters of a certain similarity regularly show up in my e-mail in-basket, hoping I might have answer to the public policy conundrum created by South Florida’s over-reaching sex offender residency restrictions.
The following came from a Miami-Dade woman who had been unable to elicit an answer from public officials, who have pretended, for two years now, that the growing colony of outcasts under the Julie Tuttle Causeway is unrelated to an ill-conceived public policy.
Of course, they’re dodging this woman because there is no answer. There is no legal place for her brother to live except the dank underside of the Biscayne Bay bridge. I’ve removed her name and address to protect her from the mean spirited.
I am the sister of a sexual offender. I am writing in the hopes that you could provide me and my family with some answers to some questions that we are having difficulty with. We have tried countless and dozens of times to contact and speak with as many different offices and departments regarding the re-entry of a sex offender, who happens to be our loved one, and in return we always end up empty handed or scoffed at by the person(s) on the other end of the phone. Listed below are our questions:
1. Once my brother is released from Ft. Leavenworth, KS, most likely by the end of this year, where can he reside within the limits of the Miami Dade county ordinances, other than under the Julia Tuttle causeway?
2. Where can he obtain a letter of employment or assistance from somewhere in Miami Dade County?
3. Can he reside in our parent’s home located in Opa-Locka upon his release?
There are hundreds of other questions we need answers to but no one will listen or take the time to help us. He will need housing and treatment once he is released and we have been very unsuccessful in finding suitable housing and/or treatment facilities in the Miami Dade County area. Living under a bridge is inhumane and is not an option for us. We are determined and our spirit will not be broken despite of all the obstacles put in our path. If you could and have any information that can point us in the right direction, or know of someone, or know of a program, please let us know. Your help and attention to this matter would be utterly and immensely appreciated.