Court order allows City Walk to continue transition home ministry

We have featured City Walk, a Florida ministry that welcomes registrants, previously. We especially like their slogan, “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”

We later learned that the mission was dealing with a suit filed against it that could force it to close and abandon its ministry of hope and help to those it serves and will serve.

Good news has reached us that they have been granted a preliminary injunction. We rejoice with them that they will continue serving the needy in Tallahassee, Florida. They have sent us this press release, which we share here:

Detroit —- July 10, 2020—A federal court in Tallahassee has entered a preliminary injunction against Wakulla County, Florida, protecting the religious exercise of local church City Walk – Urban Mission. The order comes just two months after City Walk’s attorneys at Dalton & Tomich, PLC filed suit under the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act—a federal law that protects the land use rights of religious institutions and assemblies. The suit seeks to secure City Walk’s right to continue its small transition home ministry.

City Walk, based in Tallahassee, began operating its religious transition home in Wakulla County in 2013 to help those in need find love, forgiveness, and a new life in Jesus. In addition to shelter, the ministry provides a recovery program on the organization’s heavily wooded 3.4-acre property. Over the years, City Walk’s ministry has faced opposition because it does not turn away registered sex offenders. Certain neighbors and county officials have tried to pressure City Walk to abandon its ministry. Recently, the County moved to shut the ministry down through zoning enforcement, aiming to limit City Walk to two people in the three-bedroom home. That’s when City Walk was forced to file suit.

On July 9, 2020, the Court found the county’s restriction substantially burdened City Walk’s religious exercise and entered a preliminary order barring all county officials from attempting to prevent City Walk from housing up to six unrelated adults in its transition home.  Further, in  ruling against the county, the Court found the county planning director’s sworn statement not to be credible because it was inconsistent with prior representations she had made to City Walk – and also inconsistent with the county’s own land use code.

Judge Mark Walker’s order begins with a quote from scripture: “Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” (Matthew 25:44.2) To which the Lord replied, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Id. 25:45.

Renee Miller, Pastor of City Walk, expressed gratitude upon hearing the Court’s order.

“It is unfortunate that we had to file a federal lawsuit to protect our right to serve those in need, yet we are thankful this order will allow us to continue our small but powerful ministry,” Miller said. “We hope the county will now stop spending its limited resources on fighting our spiritual outreach efforts.”

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

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    • #74333 Reply
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      Old Offender

      The hate in this country knows no bounds. It’s wonderful that there are some real Christians still trying to live their religion

    • #74350 Reply
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      Perry

      All it takes is FAITH, and We can do the EXACT SAME THING, to the rest of The Nation too. Getting Law Firms willing to FIGHT FOR US, takes the same kind of Weapons The Corrupted Officials, Lawmakers, and all other Entities use: MONEY! Let’s begin ‘Tithing’ into NARSOL, so they can get US Law Firms to do for US, what we-even collectively-cannot possibly do for Ourselves without such Firms On OUR Side! Next Week, I’m going to do just that when My Retirement deposit comes in. Just $10.00 a month from EACH of US, should be all it will take. Maybe it could be more. I don’t know, but We have GOT NO OTHER CHOICE, if We’re going to not just Survive, but actually LIVE!
      Done.

    • #74537 Reply
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      Earl Hughes

      Wow awesome I moved from Florida thanks alot wakulla county is were I was raised thanks alot but I’m North Carolina with another opposition to religious freedom I can’t go to church as a sex offender here cause of a 300 loitering policy that still in effect

    • #74535 Reply
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      Brian

      In response to Perry’s response he is spot on and I have said this over and over. The system has used money to get people to lobby for harsher registry laws and take away our freedoms. How do we combat this????? The same way. Use our combined resources to fight back. Fight fire with fire. The old saying goes, Money Talks. This is so true.
      There are almost a million registrants in the US. If all even turnes in soda cans for a deposit to het $1 it would amount to $1 million a month and $12 million a year. Can you imagine the power that would buy?
      We cant continue to sit by and just let stuff happen to us. We need to band together for strength.
      There are so many options we have that we can’t do. I teven thought, ” Wow if we could do a DDOS on the registry sites wouldn’t that be awesome?” Denying anyone the ability to access the registry is as good as shutting it down.
      We could all refuse to register and they aren’t going to put everyone i. Jail or prison but we all know this won’t happen.
      So what is the most reasonable and easiest thing to do? $10 a month and 100 million a year imagine what we could do. Look what $10 or $20 in prison could do.
      Step up people like Perry advocates and donate. Invest in yourself for a change. The satisfaction of winning for a change is amazing. May be little fires but winning little cases will help with big ones.
      PLEASE GIVE TO THE CAUSE

    • #74565 Reply
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      ron

      Urging people to donate to the cause is the best idea out there. But has anyone thought that just maybe 3/4 of the registrants don’t even know that these organizations even exist? I forgot how I even found this site. maybe the best thing Narsol could do is put notices in local newspapers telling people about the organizations. That way I’m sure there would be a hoard of people joining and donating. There are free newsletters/papers here in NH like the “Hippo” where they talk about the happenings in NH and the news that applies to everyone here. That’s just one example. So put your thinking caps on. Go to your fellow inmate and tell them about it. Tell them it’s in their best interest to support these groups and get active in their communities.

    • #74617 Reply
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      Registry Movies

      Start creating movies from our perspective. We have a whole list of people to cast movie roles from (the registry).

      Always from the protagonist registrant’s perspective. Personally, I think Rambo is a good template. The protagonist experiencing repeated mistreatment until finally fighting back, or fighting for his friends and rescuing them. Perhaps a movie about a wrongly charged SO, whose family is killed by SO vigilantes, but our hero tracks down the vigilantes and ghosts them, then hunts down the corrupt regime behind the registry. If the protagonist receives great injustice, everyone will be on the hero’s side as he fights back, regardless of prior bias.

      Storytelling, especially movies, are one of the most powerful ways to alter culture and belief systems, as I’m sure everyone already knows.

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