Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bob Dillinger seeks funds to help Pasco's homeless with chronic substance abuse problems

NEW PORT RICHEY — The increasing number of drunken homeless people in Pasco County has risen so much in recent years that Pasco-Pinellas Public Defender Bob Dillinger is seeking $125,000 from the county to start a jail diversion program similar to one in Pinellas.

"You can't arrest your way out of homelessness," he told Pasco County commissioners Tuesday.

The program targets those are who are known as "chronic inebriates" and provides temporary housing and case management so they can have the opportunity to get sober and find work.

Dillinger said statistics of the program, which began in 2004, show the number of arrests of the 4,856 homeless clients who have been in the program fell by 93 percent after completion.

An expanded program funded with a grant from the Department of Children and Families for three years beginning in 2011 showed a 96 percent decrease in the arrests of the 161 clients with chronic substance abuse problems after they went through the program.

Dillinger praised Pasco for having two centers that accept those confined under the state's Marchman Act, a law that allows family members to commit for treatment those with substance abuse problems.

He also complimented the county's mobile medical clinic, bought in 2012 for $25,000. The unit makes visits three days a week to more than a dozen locations to provide the homeless with basic medical care.

Pasco commissioners will take up Dillinger's request when they consider the proposed 2014-15 budget in July.

Bob Dillinger seeks funds to help Pasco's homeless with chronic substance abuse problems 06/26/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 26, 2014 9:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  2. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

  3. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108