NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - The deadline to leave a property in Northwest Miami-Dade for a makeshift camp for homeless sex offenders may be pushed back.
The group originally had until last Sunday to leave, however that deadline was pushed back to Thursday. Miami-Dade Police said there will be a hearing at 10:15 a.m. Thursday to see if that deadline now stands.
People who live nearby said the camp originally started as a couple of tents before it grew. Although, the sex offender registry currently shows that nearly 300 offenders list that area as their home.
In March, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the homeless residents had 45 days to relocate. Many businesses in the area considered the camp an eyesore, and many other residents said they feared for their safety.
Police also said the Health Department deemed the site a sanitary nuisance.
Akiba Lan has lived in the camp for about a month. She said she feels safe there.
“These are the most respectful people I’ve met since I’ve been outside,” Lan said. “They respect each other, they respect themselves, and they respect others. I can’t ask for more than that.”
On Monday, several advocacy groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of some of the people living in the camp. They said the removal of the homeless is illegal and because of their sex offender status, they have no where else to reside.
Business owner Jose Herrera said that the homeless in the area does not bother him and he tries to help them when he can.
Herrera said he is concerned for them. “Those people already paid for their situation,” he said. “And now, they have no where to go.”
“The only thing we can hope for is they’re gonna give them an extension to see if they can stay a little longer,” Lan said.
The Homeless Trust said they have been to the camp several times to help the residents figure out what their options are and which resources are available to them. However, the camp is still filled with residents.
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