St. Johns deputy opens wallet to help man in shelter

A St. Johns County deputy stepped up in a big way after Hurricane Irma, lending a hand to a man in need.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A St. Johns County deputy stepped up in a big way after Hurricane Irma by lending a hand to a man in need.

Since Hurricane Irma, the Solomon Calhoun Community Center in St. Augustine has served as a shelter.

It's where Thomas Gough has stayed for days, down on his luck and short of some necessary footwear for his work as a tradesman.

Last Friday, a 14-year deputy with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office working at the shelter stepped in to help.

"Thomas came immediately to me and introduced himself to me and basically said he was in need of a pair of work shoes to go back to work," said Deputy Jared Goodman.

Goodman got a co-worker to cover his shift to pick up Gough a pair of brand new work boots, an expenditure straight out of the deputy's own pocket.

"I think it kind of took him for a step back and they were new and I think a new pair of shoes is something that everybody can enjoy," Goodman said.

The new boots come at a time Gough is working to turn his life around. Gough much prefers law enforcement handing him boots over handcuffs.

"It's the first time I've had an officer go out of his pocket and out of his way to help me," Gough said.

The kind act was captured and shared on Instagram by the Sheriff's Office with recognition received in the form of hundreds of 'likes.'

"The recognition is nice, but I know that anybody else would have done the same thing in that situation. I firmly believe that," Goodman said.

"I could just tell by the officer by the way he spoke and carried himself that he was that type of man that would do something like that, whether policeman or not," Gough said.

oodman said his act of kindness is just part of his job title and part of who he is, even without that title.

"When I grew up, what my parents instilled in me was to serve and to give to others and I instill that into my little one to and that's just part of who I am," Goodman said.

Goodman said he and Gough have stayed in touch ever since. Goodman said he told Gough to stay positive about finding work and to reach out if there's any way he can help him in the future.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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