Since he was released from prison almost five years ago, John has never had a place he can call home.
Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, he spends nights outside in remote areas of Miami-Dade County—sleeping outside on a mat or in the front seat of his son’s truck.
John (not his real name) was convicted in 1994 of a sex offense involving a minor. His homelessness is a direct result of the Lauren Book Child Safety Ordinance, enacted in Miami-Dade County in 2010, which bans individuals convicted of certain sex crimes, including those involving minors, from living within 2,500 feet of a school.
The ban effectively puts most populated areas of Miami-Dade off limits to him—which is why John is allowed to stay at his niece’s home, which is within the exclusion zone, during the day, but not at night.