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Resource ID: #26692
Subject: Homelessness
Source: Tampa Bay Times
Date: Online: 11/29, 12/1, 12/2, 12/3, 12/5, 12/12, 12/20, 12/30 In print: 11/30, 12/2, 12/3, 12/4, 12/6, 12/14, 12/21, 12/31



One of Tampa's largest homeless charities, New Beginnings of Tampa, for years made money off its destitute residents through a legally questionable “work therapy” program. Homeless people -- including the mentally ill and addicted -- were required to work unpaid concessions shifts at professional sporting events and concerts, and in construction, telemarketing, and a bevy of other industries in exchange for shelter. While claiming to provide counseling to the homeless sent to the charity by local law enforcement, hospitals, and the courts, the charity employed no one clinically trained to counsel the mentally ill or addicted, and required residents to sign over food stamps, Social Security checks, and any other income. Many former residents said they worked there for months -- and should have earned more than they owed in rent -- but were never paid.

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