A slice of $7.5 million in federal stimulus money is being offered to help homeless sex offenders and predators living under a Miami causeway to cover rent, housing and utilities, reports the city’s Herald. The money comes from federal funds designated for homeless people in Miami-Dade. Convicted sex offenders who meet income requirements are eligible, said Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, who has led efforts to find housing for the bridge dwellers.
Under the program, participants can receive financial assistance for up to 18 months. The camp, which has become a national embarrassment for Miami, is emptying. Book estimates that from a high of about 100 a few months ago, 49 remain in cardboard boxes and rusty cars in the sandy, bug-infested underpass. Some of them are still unwilling to leave, but they are moving one by one, he said. Lawmakers and others say the stimulus money still won’t solve the larger issue: Where do sexual predators and offenders live in a state with such restrictive residency laws?