Thinking Back to 2017, When Police Officers Gave a Homeless Man the Makeover of His Life

In a world where police officers are viewed in a negative light, it’s always important to remember that they are here to help – especially when a homeless man comes begging for assistance. That’s exactly what happened in this 2017 story that involves a homeless man and the City of Rome, NY Police Department.

In April 2017, more than six years ago, two police officers were met by a homeless man – Bobby – who was down on his luck. They interacted with the man for a little while before he asked the officers for help. He didn’t ask for money, he didn’t ask for food, and he didn’t ask for anything a greedy man would want. 

Thinking Back to 2017, When Police Officers Gave a Homeless Man the Makeover of His Life

Rome PD giving back and providing a helping hand. After some interaction with a man down on his luck, Bobby, said he'd…

Posted by City of Rome, NY Police Department on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Instead, all he wanted was a haircut and a warm shower – something many homeless people go days, weeks, and even months without. Understanding they were in a position to help a man in need, the police officers did what any samaritan would do – they gave the homeless man a haircut, shower, and more.

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It was Rome police officer Aaron Page who first made contact with Bobby. After realizing the man’s need for new clothes, Page told Bobby to meet him at the police station the next day – which he did. When he arrived, he was met by three other officers – Jeff Buckley, George Gebo, and Sgt. Frank Fragapane. 

In an effort to give the homeless man the makeover he’s been wishing for, the police officers gathered donated clothes and even came equipped with a pair of hair clippers – at the time, Bobby’s hair and beard were growing out of control. The officers then took the time to cut his hair and help him get dressed. 

The police department shared the story on Facebook. “This morning we provided Bobby with a haircut, a shave, a shower, and a whole new wardrobe of donated clothing. Bobby left looking like a whole new person and couldn’t thank us enough,” the department said, sharing several photos of the interaction. 

Thinking Back to 2017, When Police Officers Gave a Homeless Man the Makeover of His Life
via Facebook (City of Rome, NY Police Department)

In an interview with WSTM, Buckley said it was ‘obvious’ the homeless man needed help, adding they’re always trying to come up with new ideas of how to help and give back to our community.’ He applauded Page for coming up with the idea, calling it a ‘great way to help someone who simply needed a hand.’ 

Police Officers Have a History of Helping the Homeless

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), more than 325,000 people experience sheltered homelessness on any given night. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness estimates that New York, alone, has a homeless population of more than 90,000 people.

With the COVID-19 pandemic making things much worse for homeless people around the world, they need our help more than ever. Luckily, people of all ages and backgrounds are doing their part – much like officer Page and Buckley did in 2017. Safe to say, it doesn’t take much to help someone in need. 

Today, most police departments have a team or program designed to help the homeless population when needed. For example, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department has a Homeless Outreach Team that hopes to lower the number of unhoused individuals requiring law enforcement or medical responses. 

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There are also an endless amount of charities and non-profit organizations doing their part to end homelessness in America. For example, Haircuts 4 Homeless is a charity that – as you can guess – provides haircuts for homeless people. They’re just one of the many organizations around the world.

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