Posts Tagged Will Hobson

No Violations of Record Keeping or Labor Laws

New Beginnings of Tampa has been helping the disenfranchised for over 15 years and will continue to do so.


new-beginnings-of-tampa-federal-investigation-releaseNew Beginnings of Tampa articles were on the front page of the Tampa Bay Times several times in November and December of 2014. The lies and fabrication of stories stirred up many people to believe that New Beginnings was exploiting the homeless.

Missed informed Hillsborough Commissioner Kevin Beckner called for a Federal Investigation for slave trafficking and violation of labor laws.

It seems that The Tampa Bay Times’ main motive was to sell papers and win a Pulitzer for the paper in an effort to further the career of the sensational investigative staff writer Will Hobson.

Their focus was to find stories that sell at the expense of accuracy with no regard for the truth or the harm their lies could cause to innocent people. As a result other news outlets across the country picked up the stories without checking out the validity of the articles from The Tampa Bay Times. Since the stories were newsjacked and published in several newspapers it seemed to lend credibility to the articles being true.

These articles seemed to polarize readers into three main groups:

  1. People who knew about New Beginnings because they had been in the program or knew someone who had been.
    This group of people were angry and livid over the false allegations of the articles. They rallied to New Beginnings to support them during this onslaught of media hype.
  2. People who only knew about New Beginnings through the articles they read in the Times.
    They were livid and angry at New Beginnings because they believed the stories about abuse and exploitation of the destitute and homeless.
  3. People who had been through the Program and were excited from the program because of breaking the rules and/or drug use in the program.
    They used these stories to justify their failures in the program and in their lives. The addicts now had an audience to air their grievances and get back at New Beginnings for putting them out of the program. Many drug addicts contacted the paper to tell them about their alleged mistreatment at New Beginnings.

Now that the dust is settling and the truth is coming out that the stories were not based on fact, but on non-credible people telling ridiculous tales of woe. The few things that were factual were written in a very sensational manner and blown up with the purpose of misguiding the public that a speck of dirt could look like a mountain.

When Commissioner Beckner asked on the front page of The Tampa Bay Times for Federal investigation, he looked like a great crusader of the homeless. The Federal investigation is now over. After the United States of America Department of Labor carefully and extensively examined financial records and interviewed several employees and clients, it was concluded that there are NO VIOLATIONS OF RECORD KEEPING OR LABOR LAWS.

Now that New Beginnings has been vindicated we doubt that the truth will get the same media coverage that the lies did. It is a shame that a newspaper can print such trash in the name of news and get by with it. The damage they do hurts real people. They should have to be accountable for their actions.

New Beginnings of Tampa makes no apologies for requiring some clients to carry a part of their expenses by working. We want to teach them a work ethic and NOT to depend on the government and others to support them. Work is not a dirty word but a great gift given to us by God to have self-worth and to be a part of community. Even in the garden of Eden God instructed Adam to dress and keep the garden.

New Beginnings has survived but had to cut a lot of services because of the loss of income caused by these bogus articles in the Times subjectively persuaded public opinion that New Beginnings was guilty until proven innocent.

We appreciate all who came out to support us through this difficult time. We will continue to rebuild our services as the truth continues to surface. New Beginnings of Tampa has been helping the disenfranchised for over 15 years and will continue to do so. To the staff and volunteers at New Beginnings of Tampa it is more than a job; It is a God mandated calling to help those that need it.


Good work at New Beginnings is being punished.

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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Is it the goal of the Tampa Bay Times to have homeless on the street again?

Is-it-the-goal-of-the-Tampa-Bay-Times-to-have-homeless-on-the-street-againIn 2010 my life fell apart. To be honest I had been a slight mess for a long time, but in 2010, right when I was getting my life together, it all came tumbling down around me. I can’t blame anyone but myself, of course. I made all those bad decisions. I chose to use drugs, I chose to steal money from my family’s businesses. I did it to myself.

At the end of a 5 or 6 month rollercoaster, I found myself homeless, friendless, outcast by my family, and nowhere to turn. I found New Beginnings on the internet, and thought to myself, “you know, perhaps a spiritually geared program is what I need”. The best part was that they accepted me, without insurance, and without any money in my pocket. I didn’t have a job, or any prospect really of finding one. They said, “Don’t worry about that, just stop using right now, and come in to see us”

To make a long story short, It took me awhile and one more try out there, and then back to New Beginnings, but now I have been clean for 3 years, and have a base of spirituality inside that I never had before. I got that at New Beginnings. I worked hard, both on myself, and for New Beginnings, but that is what I needed! Had I just sat around smoking cigarettes and complaining about how unfair the world is all day, I would not be here right now. I was thankful that I had a way to pay my program fees.

Reading the articles in the Tampa Bay Times, and some of the comments left by people are breaking my heart. It seems like Hobson is on the warpath against Pastor Tom. He doesn’t deserve it, I know he works just as hard or harder running the program and the church than any of the clients do, and most days barely has a free minute. And I have seen with my own eyes the lifestyle that he leads. It is far from Swanky, I’ll tell you that.

The saddest part though that the victims of this debacle will be the 120 or so men and women who depend upon New Beginnings for shelter and guidance. What happens to them? Is it the goal of the Times to have them all on the street again, maybe using drugs, maybe stealing to support their habits, maybe doing worse? I know what I was like when I was out there, and New Beginnings not only saved me, but also the people that I definitely would have harmed had I kept on going the way I was.

In essence without New Beginnings, I most likely would be dead now, and I probably would have done some very bad things in the process of getting there.

I’m begging Will Hobson and the Times to stop thinking about awards, and start thinking about the end game here. How is this going to end? I think instead of making accusations and assumptions we should ALL including Hobson, the NFL, MLB, and The Times, be trying to figure out what we can do to HELP this wonderful little organization.

-Roger B.


Get help for substance abuse. If you or someone you know has a problem with substance abuse in Tampa and need help. Contact New Beginnings of Tampa and we will help or help get the help needed for substance abuse.

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Good work at New Beginnings is being punished

Times’ crusade against New Beginnings


Good work is being punished.

Let me see if I have this straight. Pastor Tom Atchison of New Beginnings takes in drug addicts, criminals and sex offenders — basically the unemployable dregs of society whom no other institution will care for — and gives them free room and board, and probably clothing too.

In return he asks the men to pay for their costly care by working a few hours a week at jobs in the community for (at most) pocket money. Nobody is compelled to stay at his homeless shelter and as I understand it nobody is prevented from finding additional employment to earn a few dollars if they so choose. And while in Atchison’s care they are gaining basic job skills, and building a record of steady employment and sobriety that can help them to return to normal society.

From what you have written about Atchison himself, he appears to be an honorable man who definitely is not getting rich out of doing a nasty job that I’m sure no editor at the Tampa Bay Times would want to tackle.

What’s wrong with this picture?

The Times has depicted this man as some sort of latter-day Fagin, exploiting people for personal gain. Thanks to you, Atchison already has lost many of the major sponsors who provided work for these indigents. It’s only a matter of time before his funds and his support dry up and New Beginnings disappears. At which point the drug addicts, criminals and sex offenders will be back sleeping on the streets of Tampa with nothing to do but feed their anti-social pastimes through criminal activity.

Normally I admire the Times for its crusades that are meant to root out the evil in society, and I feel that your past Pulitzers have been justly deserved. But this time you are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Brandon Jones, Clearwater

Letter to the editor at The Tampa Bay Times published on 12/19/2014


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A Letter to Commissioner Kevin Beckner

New Beginnings of Tampa would like to thank Jim Wujek and the University Square Civic Association for sending a letter of testimony to Hillsborough County commissioner Beckner regarding New Beginnings of Tampa’s good standing in the North Tampa community. (This in regard to Will Hobson and The Tampa Bay Times accusations towards our organization)

We have enjoyed over 15 years of partnership with the University Square Civic Association and we look forward to many more years of being able to share the experiences we have and helping to keep crime down as well as helping those that are disenfranchised.


The letter states on December 3, 2014:university-square-civic-assocoation-letter-to-commissioner-beckner

Good Guys

Mr. Beckner,

To our neighborhood, you are one of the “good guys”, and so is Rev. Tom Atchison. We have worked with Rev. Tom and TPD to put drug dealers in jail (call me at 978-1191 to find out more). He and his clients are conspicuous because they are clean, respectful, and helpful to neighborhood residents.

Rev. Tom and his program have a “genuine” feel to them. We suspect that his efforts are not only “clean” but, quite possibly, exemplary.

Jim Wujek, President


University Square Civic Association
11101 N. 19th Street
Tampa, Florida 33612


Related Content

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

New Beginnings of Tampa instills in people that they are somebody

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


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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.



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”


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


A Letter to Commissioner Kevin Beckner

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


In rebuttal to the accusation made by Tampa Bay Times writer Will Hobson, “We don’t use homeless or the clients than are in our Emergency Shelter for sporting events”.

Additionally, we have not received any city or county grants in over six years. We have been able to feed and minister to well over 200 people daily that visit the compound at East Chilkoot Avenue and our Mission at North Nebraska Avenue.

Thomas E. Atchison, CEO, Pastor
Senior Pastor New Life PCG
Founder, New Beginnings of Tampa, Inc.

New Beginnings of Tampa Press Release December 2, 2014

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

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


Why New Beginnings of Tampa has a work therapy program.


new-beginnings-of-tampa-suit-a-bull-enactus-usf-21A very important element of recovering from the throes of addiction is to start the process of accepting the depths of destruction that they have caused to their family and their self. The slow process of integrating back into society is very crucial. They are beat down and need to regain confidence in themselves in order to feel they have the ability to obtain employment and income in order to pay past legal bills, child support, etc., and navigate through life’s ups and downs.


Most people who have had addiction problems for a lengthy period of time have developed behaviors that must be changed in order to be successful. Because of the lying, stealing, manipulating, and lack of work ethic etc. they were not able to hold a decent job for any length of time. Those that have been incarcerated for any length of time are not usually prepared to hold down a job, if they are fortunate to get one, they have a hard time keeping it because they too lack work ethics.


We have several work therapy levels: each one gives a little higher level of trust:


  1. In the beginning of their recovery, when they detox from drugs or alcohol, they need to be kept busy to keep their minds off their desire to relapse. They are not trusted to leave property for any reason so they are given jobs such as cleaning, raking leaves etc.
  2. Next is outside volunteer supervised work. This includes working at the food bank helping to stock shelves and clean, also helping with the homeless on the street. This not only allows them to appreciate the progress they are making in their lives, and about giving back to society.
  3. Later, they begin to work events such as concessions and parking such as concerts and football games. This brings them into the world of regular work, but they are given the supervision needed to learn how to retain employment; such as not being on cell phone while working, not taking a cigarette break every ten minutes, how to listen to superiors or authority interact with fellow employees.
  4. When the client has proven themselves to be able to retain employment successfully they are then able to apply for jobs and hopefully be successful. Once a job is obtained they will be monitored closely as to their progress.
  5. The last step shows their ability to handle money. When they receive their first check, it a very dangerous time for a relapse. Their money is closely monitored and advice given on creating a budget. They begin to prepare for exit by saving money for a home, apartment, car.


New Beginnings has been criticized by Will Hobson, a writer from the Tampa Bay Times, for forcing clients to work without pay and almost making slaves out of them. Registered complaints have been made with several agencies with these allegations and to county and state agencies as to grant fraud among others


These allegations are false and malicious. We believe he is attempting to cause adverse problems for New Beginnings so he can write an adverse story. He is hindering New Beginnings the ability to
function right because of his thirst for Pulitzers and sensationalism. He has been calling several of the agencies that we work with trying to dig up dirt. He has even knocked on doors of crack houses
looking for former clients to interview. He has been working on this story for several months.


These are the actual facts.

  1. Every client is here by their own free will. If they don’t think this is the best place for them we will help them find an appropriate one.
  2. New Beginnings operates on very little funding from grants or personal donations. Clients working the events are needed to help supplement expenditures of the facility.
  3. Monies received from the events to New Beginnings is a donation that helps support those clients that do not qualify for governmental support or do not have resources to pay their own way to be in recovery.
  4. The average hours worked per week for clients is 10 to 15 hours.


If Mr. Hobson has stated that he does not feel that clients should participate by helping to earn their own way without depending on governmental support. What solution does he propose to help people on the road to recovery? We would welcome him to become a part of our advisory board to become part of the solution rather then creating bigger obstacles for those needing


Anyone who doubts the success of our program is welcome to come and tour New Beginnings and talk to the clients to see the real story. The real story might not sell papers or win Pulitzers but the real story is that New Beginnings has one of the highest documented success rates in the country.


We have veterans that other agencies would not take because they don’t fit into their funding guidelines that now are off the street and doing great in their own housing. New Beginnings has been assisting and supporting the disenfranchised for over 16 years with very little funding, if any, from county or state funding. Yet we have been able to accomplish for mere dollars what other agencies get millions of dollars of funding to do.


New Beginnings does not receive the amount of dollars that other recovery programs receive, but the clients get the genuine care and support that is needed for recovery. It is unfortunate that Mr. Hobson has used his influence to misled other agencies by telling them that New Beginnings in under investigation by creating doubt and unfounded acquisitions without telling the truth of the “whole and complete story” He is the one creating the illusion of us being under investigation to discredit our name to our partner, a political ploy to creating doubt and distrust.


How far should a person be allowed to continue to attempt to destroy without intervention?


On first blush it will appear that New Beginnings is a horrible agency, but after the dust has settled the truth about the great work we do will prevail. We at New Beginnings feel like we are under attack by the powers of darkness, but God is at our side to walk us through this. Please keep us in your prayers as we whether this storm.


Dr. Tom Atchison
New Beginnings of Tampa
1402 East Chillkoot Ave
Tampa, FI 33612


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