Tampa Police help 5-month-old and her parents living in tent in Tampa park

Posted at 4:03 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 13:34:52-05

A family of three had been living in a tent in Copeland Park for two months until Tampa Police stepped in.

The mom, dad and their five-month-old baby had been living in the tent since they made their way to Tampa from Texas. They left there trying to escape Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath.  Just a short time after they left there, Hurricane Irma hit.

The family was staying in the tent as Irma blew through the Tampa Bay area in September.

"We made it though,” said Christopher Leggett, the father living in the tent with his family. “God. Anybody that don't believe in him, needs to believe in him."

About a week ago, a park ranger noticed Leggett and his family living in the park and that ranger called Tampa Police. One of the responding officers was Cpl. Jason Tkack and his squad in the area.

"It almost made me tear up. I have children. And a baby looking at me and smiling. It just breaks your heart," said Cpl. Tkack.

Cpl. Tkack said the second he saw little Nahla’s face, he knew that he had to do something.  So he and the other responding officers starting pooling their own resources to help the family.

"In one day, get a large amount of baby supplies for them… books toys health food," said Cpl. Tkack.

The officers were even able to find temporary housing for the family, but that temporary fix has run out and the family is now looking for a more permanent solution.

Christopher says he will continue to pray as all he needs is a roof for his family.  He says he will take care of the rest.

If you would like to help this family, please reach out to St. Vincent de Paul contact:


Maureen McCarthy

3010 N. Boulevard

Tampa, FL 33603