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New Beginnings pastor Tom Atchison defends program against forced labor accusations


Thank you Fox 13 Tampa Bay for objective reporting.

TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Pastor Tom Atchison went before the Hillsborough County Commission Tuesday, and read from a Tampa Bay Times article released earlier this week.

“Critics say it’s indentured servitude,” Atchison read.

The article criticizes the founder and CEO of New Beginnings of Tampa, saying it uses homeless people for labor without paying them.

“It’s completely full of lies. Every bit of it. Even the financial stuff he’s writing,” Atchison said about the article. “Well, he said, we don’t pay them. We do.”

Anthony Cubbage is a former homeless person who has been staying at New Beginnings. He said he loves working the Bucs games.

“For myself, for the help that they’ve given me for the eight months that I’ve been here, I feel that I’m giving back helping them out,” Cubbage said.

However, the organization does get paid money for those homeless people who work those games. So where does that money go?

“We save that money for them until they’re ready to handle it. Most people have been on drugs or alcohol. That’s like putting a loaded gun in their hand. That’s too tempting for them, so we save that money for them and give it to them when they leave,” Atchison explained.

The handling of those funds have raised red flags. The county said New Beginnings doesn’t have transparent accounting practices when it comes to collecting and redistributing money to its clients.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner wrote a letter to Representative Kathy Castor and Senator Bill Nelson, calling for a federal investigation.

“Stop the nonsense, please!” Pastor Tom told the county commission.

Dozens of supporters filled the meeting.

“This place saved my life,” Dakodah Howells said at the hearing, as he wiped away tears.

“Just look at what they do for you. You have a place to lay your head every night, food in your mouth. They help you with anything. Teach you how to budget, how to take classes, even a simple conversation, you have something on your mind, any one of them will help you,” Howells said.

However, other former clients told the Tampa Bay Times they were forced to work without pay.

Atchison explained said that’s not surprising.

“When you put them out of the program for breaking the rules or using drugs, the first thing they’re going to do, they’re going to blame everybody but themselves,” he said.

New Beginnings’ mission is to help the homeless get back on their feet. Now they’re just hoping they can do the same.

“I just want to get this past us, get these people to stop this insanity against us and get on with the mission of helping people,” Atchison said.

Commissioner Kevin Beckner was in Washington, D.C. and unavailable for comment. There’s still no word on whether there will be a federal investigation into the case.

 

Original story: Posted: Dec 03, 2014 7:04 PM ESTUpdated: Dec 03, 2014 7:04 PM EST

Pastor Tom Atchison “took personal interest in all the people”

A Letter to Commissioner Kevin Beckner

 

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Attention Will Hobson and The Tampa Bay Times

Attention Will Hobson and The Tampa Bay Times

Defamation Law falls under Tort Law. It refers to false statements about a person, communicated as fact to one or more other persons by an individual or entity (such as a person, newspaper, magazine, or political organization), which causes damage and does harm to the target’s reputation and/or standing in the community. Defamation is addressed primarily by state legislation. However, Constitutional Law may also apply, as the right of freedom of speech also extends to certain defamation claims. Defamation is categorized as either Slander or Libel.

The general harm caused by defamation is identified as being ridiculed, shamed, hated, scorned, belittled or held in contempt by others, and lowers him/her in esteem of a reasonably prudent person, due to the communication of the false statement. This tort can result in a lawsuit for damages. Many states have statutes requiring that the allegedly damaged party must first demand a printed retraction of the defamatory statement, before they may proceed to court. If the plaintiff proceeds with a lawsuit without first seeking the retraction or if he/she receives a retraction but proceeds anyway, most states will limit the damages they may pursue to the actual or special damages they experienced, such as loss of employment or wages.

Malice – if intentional malice can be shown/proven, than the act usually qualifies as defamation for damage to one’s reputation. However, even without this, if it is obvious that the statement would do harm and that it is untrue, one can still pursue this tort if he/she can demonstrate actual/tangible harm, such as loss of business (called special damages).

Libel is defamatory statements and/or pictures published in print or writing; or broadcast in the media, such as over the radio, on TV or in film. The publication does not need to be made to more than one person to qualify as libel. However, it must be represented as a fact, not an opinion. If one libels the reputation of a deceased person, the target’s heirs may be able to bring an action for damages.

Oral defamatory statements are categorized as slander. Damages for slander are generally more difficult to identify and prove; although when malice is involved, it can be easier to accomplish. These statements must also be represented as fact, rather than just an opinion, to be considered slanderous. Slander of title refers to a remark regarding property ownership which maligns the owner and his/her ability to transfer the property, and results in a monetary loss.

 

Related:

A Letter to Commissioner Kevin Beckner

Letter to The Tampa Bay Times – “Strings Attached “by Hobson should have been titled “Florida needs more Ex-biker Gang Leaders”

Pastor Tom Atchison defends program

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Tom Atchison 970wfla radio interview 2014-12-4 regarding Tampa Bay Times aggressive attempt to stop one of the most successful rehabilitation programs in Florida


970wfla-logoAM Tampa Bay 970wfla interview with Pastor Tom Atchison in response of the article written by Will “Hobner” Hobson of The Tampa Bay Times aggressive attempt to stop one of the most successful rehabilitation programs in Florida.

 

Related Content:

New Beginnings of Tampa Press Release – In rebuttal to the accusation made by Tampa Bay Times writer Will Hobson

Pastor Tom Atchison interview with Pete O’Shea regarding Will Hobson Tampa Bay Times Article 2014-12-2

Letter to The Tampa Bay Times – “Strings Attached “by Hobson should have been titled “Florida needs more Ex-biker Gang Leaders”

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“Strings Attached “by Hobson should have been titled “Florida needs more Ex-biker Gang Leaders”

new-beginnings-of-tampa-motorcycle-gang-photo

Florida needs more Ex-biker Gang Leaders

A letter to the Tampa Bay Times by Sam Hamontree of Riveriew, FL  

 

The Tampa Bay Times front page investigation of New Beginnings is an aggressive attempt to stop one of the most successful rehabilitation programs in Florida.  Last month I had the opportunity to meet 10 of the gentlemen from New Beginnings and listen to some of their tragic stories.  All of the gentlemen had been homeless and drug addicts.   They were also previously in public and private rehabilitation centers which all failed to help their recovery despite being in certified facilities, with educated, trained, and qualified professionals.  These rehab centers cost ten of thousands of dollars per individual per stay which are absorbed by the taxpayers and family savings.  The unfair employment and indentured servitude issue is a smoking mirror.  The men are not employees, willing to submit eligible work, project, and welfare income to subsidize their living costs, and can leave at will.

 

   Prior to Mr Hobson’s three page investigation with information from a former disgruntled worker, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an 18 month investigation with NO charges or findings of criminal wrong doing of Pastor Tim Atchison or New Beginnings.  I am sure Mr Hobson spent more time and resources than the FDLE to uncover how a Pastor on an $ 18,000 income and lavish $800 rent with an ex-biker gang leader and rehab volunteers can run one of the most effective rehab centers in Florida with ZERO cost to the taxpayers.  The most “Dubious Credentials” are Hobson’s investigative skills.  Berean Bible College (which is online) IS based in Missouri and there ARE others in Colorado and California.  (Independently Googled Verified)

 

     Why did the Tampa Bay Times investigate the New Beginnings to stop one of the most successful rehabilitation programs in Florida?  Was it due to connections to the upcoming $1.6M contract or is it the use of Christianity in their success program?  Don’t misunderstand me; Hobson’s article did uncover wrong doings and financial exploitation*.  Fortunately I have cancelled my subscription to the Tampa Bay Times to prevent further crimes.

 

Sam Hamontree III

Riverview, FL

*Hamontree’s comment about “wrong doings and financial exploitation” was in reference to Hobson’s investigative reporting and Hamontree’s paid Tampa Bay Times subscription, and NOT intended towards New Beginnings of Tampa.

Hobson has made many false, unfounded, and damaging accusations about New Beginnings of Tampa.  New Beginnings of Tampa is a small non-profit organization and operates on a much smaller financial budget than most organizations. We would like to ensure the public as a small non-profit we are doing our utmost best to have great practices and bookkeeping that is sufficient enough for the most scrutinizing reporter.

Homelessness and drug addiction is a real problem in our country. Please contact us or your local authority to find out how you can help.

New Beginnings of Tampa

Related:

A Letter to Commissioner Kevin Beckner

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New Beginnings for vets in need


new-beginnings-of-tampa-helps-veterans-fox13-tampa-bay

New Beginnings of Tampa helps veterans.

Thanks to Fox13 Tampa Bay for doing such a wonderful job covering the issues concerning veterans.

 

TAMPA (FOX 13) -

This Veterans Day marks a new beginning for Andrew Grant. The military service member has struggled with addiction and homelessness for years.

He accepted help through a transitional program five months ago — a move that changed his life.

“I have been in Tampa and out of that 20 years I had a place to live maybe four months,” said Grant who said he once slept under bridges and in abandoned houses.

“This time last year, I was actually on crack cocaine. Now I’m not. This Veterans Day is my way of honoring my family because they honor me by serving.”

Grant served meals to the homeless on Veterans Day, as part of a volunteer service through his transitional housing program, New Beginnings.

Director Kevin Stabile says the program connects veterans with resources and services.

“A lot of these vets don’t know. There is a lot out there they can receive if they just ask,” Stabile said. “This is one of the places in Tampa Bay,

they can ask.”

Veteran Brian Kachelman says he began receiving help two months ago.

“From 1998 until now, I didn’t realize I had anything,” said Kachelman, who served in the Army from 1995 to 1998. “All of a sudden, this door opened up for me. I got health benefits, dental benefits and mental health coming to help. The sky is the limit now, thanks to the program here showing us what we can do.”

For Kachelman, one of the biggest adjustments came with the return to civilian life. He says he used alcohol to cope.

“You don’t have that structure. Structure is gone. You’re left to your own devices,” says Kachleman. “That’s when for me,

I start feeling overwhelmed, trying to latch on to whatever I could to fill that void.”

The same was true for 57-year-old Veteran Ralph Price, who served in the U.S. Army from 1973 to 1977. He described drugs and alcohol as his “relief valve.”

He called New Beginnings, a new opportunity. He has continued to improve for two years.

“Throughout my ups and downs of substance abuse, it is real bad when you reach a low point and you don’t care. You start believing that no one else cares,” said Price.

“I thank God there are people that do care. They helped me learn to care.”

For more information on resources and services available to veterans, visit: https://iris.custhelp.com/

 

Original story –  Posted: Nov 11, 2013 9:25 PM ESTUpdated: Jan 06, 2014 9:25 PM EST

By: Shayla Reaves, FOX 13 News

http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/23939287/2013/11/11/new-beginnings-for-vets-in-need

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New Beginnings of Tampa – “This place saved my life”


“This place has given me a better outlook on life”

“If I wasn’t at this place i’d probably be dead”

“I’ve never been asked to do anything involuntary. Everything, I want to do. It makes me feel better. Anything you need, these people help you”

 

Public comment at Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting – Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Citizens concerned for New Beginnings of Tampa express their public views and opinions regarding pastor Tom Atchison and the New Beginnings of Tampa Recovery Program and Emergency Shelter.

 

You can watch this meeting in its entirety at:

http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/htv/programming/home.cfm

If you or someone you know is lost and needs help. Contact us today.

New Beginnings a Non Profit 501(c)(3)of Tampa Florida runs a large Transitional Housing and Homeless Recovery Program that provides unaccompanied women, men and young adults over the age 18 with a safe place to live and an individualized, gender-responsive program of guidance and job training programs to help them stabilize their lives.

www.newbeginningsoftampa.com

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This (New Beginnings) program gives me a chance to start all over again


 

“They welcomed we with arms wide open.”

“I don’t agree with what I read in the (Tampa Bay Times by Will Hobson) article. I believe that was a total abomination in my personal view.”

 

Public comment at Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting – Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Citizens concerned for New Beginnings of Tampa express their public views and opinions regarding pastor Tom Atchison and the New Beginnings of Tampa Recovery Program and Emergency Shelter.

You can watch this meeting in its entirety at:

http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/htv/programming/home.cfm

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Homeless – I volunteer (at New Beginnings) to serve the homeless and the less fortunate”


 

“New Beginnings has given me the opportunity to get back out there in life.”

 

County Commissioner Victor Crist:

“You we’re never put in a position where you had to make a decision to work, to provide for the organization or you’re out?”

Public Commentator:

“Absolutely, not”

 

Public comment at Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting – Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Citizens concerned for New Beginnings of Tampa express their public views and opinions regarding pastor Tom Atchison and the New Beginnings of Tampa Recovery Program and Emergency Shelter.

You can watch this meeting in its entirety at:

http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/htv/programming/home.cfm

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“Thank you seems so small, but in the end those words I am left with.”

 

“If it was not for New Beginnings and the emergency shelter, I could not receive letters like this and know I have helped so many people get back on their feet.”

“They were very grateful to get the opportunity for them to show their gratefulness”

“It was all volunteer work on behalf of the center for it mission”

 

Public comment at Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting – Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Citizens concerned for New Beginnings of Tampa express their public views and opinions regarding pastor Tom Atchison and the New Beginnings of Tampa Recovery Program and Emergency Shelter.

 

You can watch this meeting in its entirety at:

http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/htv/programming/home.cfm

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New Beginnings of Tampa instills in people that they are somebody


 

“These people (homeless and addicts), when they come in we treat them as if they’re family.”

 “We treat them with love, respect, kindness.” “We love them, they are just as valuable as the next person on the street.”

 “A lot of them, their family has given up on them. Their family, everybody, they treated them like they’re nothing.” “We bring them in and we treat them like they are somebody.”

 “This not just a program. This is peoples’ lives at stake.This is peoples’ lives getting turned around when their families have given up”

 

Public comment at Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting – Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Citizens concerned for New Beginnings of Tampa express their public views and opinions regarding pastor Tom Atchison and the New Beginnings of Tampa Recovery Program and Emergency Shelter.

You can watch this meeting in its entirety at:

http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/htv/programming/home.cfm

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