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Sofia Valiente

Miracle Village, 2014

In Southern Florida on the southeast corner of Lake Okeechobee lies a small community called Miracle Village that's home to over 100 sex offenders. The community was founded seven years ago by a Christian ministry that seeks to help individuals reintegrate into society. The requirement that sex offenders live a minimum of 2,500 feet from any bus stop, school or place where children congregate makes integration into society particularly difficult for them.
Sofia Valiente (*1990) lived among and photographed the residents of Miracle Village. The men are mixed in age and some from various educational and ethnic backgrounds. All are coming to terms with the permanence of living with the label “sex offender.” There is also one woman.
Her project addresses issues of trust, the realities of daily life for sex offenders, stigmatization, misconceptions, family lost and family gained, and their overall gratitude to have a place to call home.