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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Homeless Initiative:
Homes of Second Chances is a rehousing effort by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Homeless Initiative. Since the initiative’s inception more than one-hundred homeless Hillsborough county residences have been assisted with their recovery from the streets. The program has expanded into the City of Tampa with the selection of Tampa Police Department’s first Homeless Liaison Officer.
On October 23, 2012, the most current home under renovations is scheduled for the main event with the cooperation of The Home Depot Foundation and other local private sector donors. The use of the home has been donated by retired Deputy Jane Keys. The 2 bedroom 1 bath home has been vacant for more than three years and became the casualty of theft and vandalism contributing to neighborhood blight.
The homes renovation through this law enforcement program will turn the once dilapidated home around and help at least two disabled homeless Hillsborough county residents off the streets at no cost to the tax paying citizen.
Wilbern Leanord has been selected as one of two homeless candidates to receive the benefit of at least one year’s residency rent free while he works on his disability claim. Due to his physical disability he was unable to work and became homeless living on the streets of Tampa for almost eight months before being selected for the program. Mr. Leanord will be present at the home during the renovations.
Albert Swiger was the first recipient for the Homes of Second Chances program that began in December of 2011. Since this time Swiger has lived rent free in his Home of Second Chances in exchange for his sweat equity and now, less than one year later, he pays rent to the homeowner after finding employment. Swiger and other formerly homeless success stories will be at the current rehousing project as a gesture to pay forward the help that they once received from the Homeless Initiative and the Homes of Second Chances rehousing effort.
The Linebaugh Ave project is one of four current or pending rehousing projects since the effort started back in December.
The Home Depot Foundation has donated more than $4,000 in supplies and Team Depot volunteers will be present helping with the renovations. Several other private sector companies have contributed -- ARC Air Conditioning donated the replacement A/C unit / air handler along with its installation at no cost.