FL: OUTCASTS Inside the community where hundreds of pedophiles live surrounded by gator-infested waters

HUNDREDS of sex offenders live in a 24-acre private, isolated community along a miles-long Florida road lined by gator-infested waters and surrounded by thousands of acres of sugar cane.

The community has been self-described as a safe haven for sex offenders who need a place to live because of the state’s laws that requires anyone on the registry to live between 1,000 and 2,500 feet from anywhere children might be.



It started as a pastor’s vision to help recently released inmates convicted of sex crimes in 2009 and evolved into a nonprofit organization seemingly accepted by the closest city of Pahokee.

Restoration Destination, formerly known as Miracle Village, is located along a miles-long stretch of Muck City Road and is about three miles east from the heart of Pahokee and Lake Okeechobee.

Hundreds of men and women required to be register as a sex offender have come in and out of the religion-based community that provides counseling, low-income housing and job placement.

The private community said Restoration Destination will have a booth at Pahokee’s bicentennial celebration.

The program continues to build on Pastor Dick Witherow’s work of helping sex offenders reintegrate into society and helping educate the public about people who live there.

Residents are screened, and violent sexual offenders or those with a prior criminal history are generally denied.


Some of the cases involve an 18-year-old man dating someone who he thought was older but turned out to be 14 years old or a man who was seen by a child urinating in public, according to previous reports.

It’s unclear how many people live in the community now, but a 2018 documentary by the BBC said there were about 300 people living there at the time.

“Our goal for each resident is to provide everything necessary to restore them physically and spiritually,” the nonprofit wrote on its website.

“We have made a tremendous impact in their lives by giving them the opportunity to succeed. These successes have resulted in a decrease in homelessness and unemployment, reduced recidivism and re-incarceration, increased public safety and, ultimately, a savings to taxpayers.”


Registered sex offenders in Florida can’t live within 1,000 feet of a school, day care center, park or playground, and can include other places where children frequent such as swimming pools, bus stops and libraries.

Some cities – such as Miami and Jacksonville – more than double the restrictions to up to 2,500 feet – about half a mile – which forced offenders into near isolation.

 “Our office regularly receives calls from all parts of the country from people not knowing where else to turn,” Restoration Destination wrote on its site. “Often we’re able to help with advice and referrals and offer prayer. We’ve been described as a ‘beacon of hope’ for the hopeless.”


In January of 2013, photographer Sofia Valiente took residency at Miracle Village for months and took pictures of everyday life.

Nearly 10 years later, Valiente’s photos continue to be circulated as one of the best inside looks into the community.

In a January 2015 question and answer with Vice, Valiente discussed her experience.

 One of the questions Vice asked was, “Can you give me a walkthrough of your approach? What were your preconceptions?”

Valiente said, “It was a delicate process. I had no idea what to expect and assumed the worst. Anytime a sex offender is mentioned in the news there is that general fear.

“But after speaking with some of the residents, I saw that they weren’t monsters. They weren’t different from you and I, which compelled me to make the work.

“I knew there were cases that could potentially be serious, so I always had an open mind when approaching each individual. I soon found out that they were more afraid of being with me alone than I was with them, though.”


Source with multiple pictures: The U.S. Sun


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I’m so glad some PFRs are finding sanctuary here.

Unfortunately, $100 says that C U Next Tuesday, Lauren Book, catches wind of this and puts up a pocket park.

It is really disheartening to read this. Even though, good work is trying to be accomplished. Why in year 2022 should any of this be an issue? Oh! I forgot. We do not rehabilitate here. We do not educate here. We do not council here. We do not reintegrate here. We do not forgive here. I do not think any thing will change for our people as long as we have overseer zealots like the Books and Benito Mussolini Jr. (Ron DeSantis) driving this.

I’m just asking ?

What would happen if they (PFR) hung out at the police stations or the lobbies at night, or at state police lobby?
I hope this suit in Michigan will give other state ACLUs a foothold to help everyone back into society,

Wow that’s crazy, one of the many solutions to the “sex offender” problem that Florida has in store what’s next now extermination camps to wipe them out so there can be no more “sex offenders or pedophiles” and everybody is safe, just like Nazi Germany with the Final solution?

Don’t get me wrong , I am fine with people living with Christ in their life and all that , but if they believe that , then why the deep screening ? and the only rules should be harm no one , I seen the show telling about this place a long time ago , and left me with my head shaking , I lived on a few communes , and I have to say one of the worst ones was a Christen commune , far to many rules and far to much power tripping going on , sure everyone needs structure jobs and such , even the work that needs to be done to keep the place in repair , but throwing God on top of everything is a bit much for people that may not believe in all that , these people need housing and work along with safety in numbers , like I said Don’t get me wrong ect , and I am all for commune living , BUT we want to “be free to live our lives as free” . As far as the state goes what can I say you don’t already know its one of the worse , but most states?Feds in this country are trying to make it harder for all PFR’s , once LE gets power of anything or anyone they fight tooth and nail to keep that power , If I had a bunch of money I would have started a commune a long time ago and would be willing to bet with all of these very smart people on this channel we could not only have a nice place growing our own healthy foods , as well as profiting , I just about fell out when I seen that little town up for sale here in Cali again on the NV line that had a lot of land , but someone was already trying to by it like a month ago , it was fun thinking about it being a PFR town , then my stood up and put his paws on my leg wanting to to throw his ball lol oh nice dream , at least the commune the PFR’s are living around all them gators and sugar cane are making something happen that is important for many so they get props from me , Bless them all

So have the been diagnosed with pedophilia or was that just straight up libel? Most PFRs, even those caught with CP, are often not pedofiles. That’s actually a very small number. This is one thing I wish would stop. Is throwing that word “pedophile” at every PFR.

Great article except the The U.S. Sun’s title. Did the Sun suggest we be eaten by alligators?

If you look at the Sun’s reporter bio : the articles are all just because. No real news.

Just think, if they would have all just sold fentanyl to kids or shot some one in an armed robbery, or maybe held dog fights they would be free to live their lives.

The Sun should be sued by the Administrator for using the word paedophile, but spelling it incorrectly. Incitement of mob mentality is seeding the water for libel.

CORRECTION: I help several people there for several year now. I was a friend of Pastor Dick Witherow before his passed. The name is no longer Miracle Village – it is now Matthew 25 Ministries. There are maybe about 40 to 60 registered people residing there. This was a former community of itinerant sugar cane workers in a small, and somewhat isolated community in the sense that it is approximately 25 acres in a rectangle of about 54 houses, approximately 3 miles to the small City of Pahokee, on a long, road of about 1 mile, but accessible to the surrounding area – it is only somewhat isolated by distance to downtown. There are apartment building about 1/4 mile down the road to the city. It is not surrounded by woods. The local community does not really have issues and local businesses employ some of the residents. However, access to the better jobs are somewhat problematic since the ravel distance going in the opposite direction of the City of Pahokee is about 45 miles to where the better, but low paying jobs are for residents. The Concept in and of itself is a good starting point for reentry from prison and jails, but only living there long enough to get reacclimated to society and getting on their feet. To house registered persons in an isolated area permanently will become like internment camps if right-wing politicians have their way. Places like these for havens is only good if the person eventually moves on from there.