One By One, Tampa Deputy Gets Homeless Off the Street


Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven Donaldson in Tampa wants the homeless to be uncomfortable on the street, says the St. Petersburg Times. He doesn’t pass out blankets, doesn’t get them food. Maybe that will motivate them, he says. Over the past year, Donaldson has turned his patrol job into one that focuses solely on helping the homeless get shelter.

He’s an unlikely source of help. He calls himself conservative, says he’s no social worker, no bleeding heart. He hates bureaucracy and prefers a business plan. Yet he spends all of his working hours doing anything he can to get the homeless off the streets. “I’m not trying to be philanthropic,” he explains. “I’m solving a problem.” He asks the homeless what they need to get off the street. He mediates quarrels, pushes them to apply for jobs and fills out Social Security applications for the disabled. He calls it simply the “homeless initiative.” So far, he’s got 52 off the street.

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