TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - Other municipalities have teams assigned to combat the homeless situation. In Tarpon Springs, it falls to just one man. But he's made a big difference.
His name is Jose Yourgules, and in this city of 25,000, he's the best friend a homeless person could have.
"I was a drunken idiot,' said a dejected woman, who identified herself to us only as "Dee."
She says it was her bad choices that led to her kids being taken away and ending up here in a homeless camp just outside the Tarpon Springs city limits.
Jose tried to get her into the county's tent city, but it wasn't a fit.
Rick, another homeless camp resident at a camp located just across the street from where Dee was staying, said, "I didn't plan for the future, so that's part of the reason I'm out here."
Despite his tale of woe, Rick told me how he hates the alternatives to such campsites, that the rules set up for residents are too severe.
And that is one of the main reasons why Officer Yourgules has learned, during his time in homeless camps, is that not everyone wants to be helped.
"I love it," said Brian Kennedy, flanked by his buddies Larry and Vance. "It's like camping."
Officer Yourgules had to pour out the beer the guys were sharing at 10:30 in the morning. "We're just chilling and checking the sun out," he said.
"It's not really a 'homeless problem,'" said Officer Yourgules. "It's a problem with those particular homeless people."
As we stood on the stoop of an under-occupied building in the midst of human refuse and waste, the lone lawman who has helped hundreds find their way out told me he's still not giving up.
"The people that are desperate for help, we can help them," he said hopefully.
He introduced us to one of his success stories.
"My government name is Marvin G. Palmer," said the man in the wheelchair in front of the TJ Maxx. "My righteous name is Eternal."
Marvin is one of the 200 people Officer Yourgules has helped get off the streets since he began his homeless crusade in 2010.
"It makes you feel good about yourself," said Marvin.
Into assisted housing, Marvin is on the right track, like dozens of others dutifully documented in Jose's homeless ledger dating all the way back to his first client, who said thanks, but no.
Rest assured, officer Yourgules isn't going to stop asking.
"If you need any help, just let me know, OK?"
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