Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Cold night shelter named
for -- get this -- a homeless man









At age 60, Shakey Burnett has lived on the streets for nearly 20 years, a lot of it in Tarpon Springs.


Too often, homeless people are overlooked when groups are put together to make decisions on how to help them -- or when new facilities are opened.

But city officials in Tarpon Springs have named a cold night shelter after a homeless man. Located at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, the James "Shakey" Burnett Cold Night Shelter is open from Nov. 15 to March 15 when temperatures drop below 40 degrees.

For the last 20 years, James "Shakey" Burnett has served food at soup kitchens and worked to get sleeping bags for the homeless. He has cooked, mopped floors at church shelters and cleaned soiled bathrooms.

"He is one of those people who gives back more than he takes," said Tom Henderson, board chairman of the Tarpon Alliance for Humanity. "He's always been kind of the watchdog in the (homeless) community."

For once, at least, a homeless man's efforts have not gone unnoticed.

"I just believe that if you help somebody, somebody's going to help you," Burnett said. "It might not come when you want it, but it comes."

Read the St. Petersburg Times article here.

5 Comments:

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