Largo connects homeless with beneficial resources through new initiative

The Largo Public Library recently hosted a ‘Showered and Empowered’ event to help people experiencing homelessness. The event allowed the homeless community to take a shower and do a load of laundry for free. 

It’s all part of a city initiative to reach out to help the homeless. Part of this new initiative includes a Largo police homeless outreach team made up of an officer and a social service worker who reach out to the homeless and try to find them resources. 

Matt Steiner, homeless outreach officer with the Largo Police Department, said it is a great match.

“It definitely helps because he has a completely different side of things,” Steiner explained. “He’s on the social worker aspect, so he knows a lot more about the programs and stuff like that.”

It seems people who are experiencing homelessness are appreciating this new initiative. 

“It’s real hard, you can’t find food,” a program recipient said. “You can’t do laundry if you’re not working. It’s real helpful.”

Steiner said the ‘Showered and Empowered’ program is great. “It boosts their self-esteem when they can get clean and have fresh clothes,” he added. 

“When we first started doing this, I would say I didn’t have high expectations. I didn’t think anyone would want anything to do with a police officer trying to help them out or anything. But, the overwhelming majority has been very receptive and open to help in any way we can provide it to them,” Steiner shared.

So far, the team has helped provide shelter and food for the homeless. They even found substance abuse programs for those who needed one. 

“Being out there for about two months now, honestly, I feel like we’ve helped a lot of people,” Steiner said.

For more information on the city’s homelessness task team, email .