They say they're trying to "make a difference, one person at a time." They've provided a home to over "10,000 souls seeking love, understanding, and compassion." Indeed, The Mission of Saint Francis in Fort Lauderdale seems like an ideal place to temporarily house sex offenders who have served their time.
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Offenders living at the Mission are required to get a job immediately. They have to stay clean and sober. They have to comply with a list of 23 rules that cover their sexual relationships (no girls in the rooms, no sex with other St. Francis residents), their reading material (no obscenity), and their cell phone use (no cell phones in meetings). And their days are filled with work, community chores, 12 step meetings, life skills classes, spiritual hours, and prayer.
But five convicted sex offenders living at the St. Francis Mission were scheduled for eviction
this week -- on an order from the Department of Corrections -- after a playground opened two blocks away at Florence C. Hardy park. This week Diane Cuddihy from the Broward Public Defender's office obtained a reprieve to allow two of the men to stay at St Francis for an extra three months. She's still waiting on an order for the remaining three men.
Because the new playground is within 2500 feet of the mission, Saint Francis will no longer be permitted to house sex offenders. And that closes one more door for a group of ex-cons in danger of becoming homeless.