A relentless Florida sheriff has spent six years getting the homeless off his county’s streets — and the heartening news is, he finds them homes and jobs.
Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee’s department was swamped with complaints about homeless people wandering the streets, sleeping in parks, and begging for money.
He decided instead of sending deputies to move them along, he’d assign a squad to move them forward.
They partnered with nonprofits and religious charities to help the homeless find solutions to their problems ranging from treatment for addiction to finding jobs. The deputies soon found out that many of the homeless didn’t realize there was help or benefits available.
In one case, deputies responded to complaints of a couple panhandling for money in traffic. Instead of taking them to jail, the deputies found them an apartment and jobs.
“Within six months, they were self sufficient,” Sheriff’s Major Chad Chronister told the Tampa Tribune. “It’s not that they didn’t want help. They just didn’t know how to get it.”
The Sheriff’s program has moved 500 people into temporary housing and found permanent homes for more than 200.
Now that’s the way ‘to serve’.
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