Detroit officer forges lifelong bond after helping man found sleeping on street
“It’s something about his spirit that grabbed onto me. I was like, I gotta help this brother out. He’s one of our own.”
By Ashley Silver
DETROIT — The creation of the Detroit Police Department’s Unsheltered Response Unit is paying dividends to enhance the relationship between the homeless and officers within the city. It led to one special interaction between a Detroit officer and a member of the city’s most vulnerable population that forged an unbreakable bond.
Detroit Local 4 News recently recounted the story of Corporal Marcus Harris II and Adrian Hugh. Adrian became homeless after being robbed of all his possessions, including his ID and social security card, just after moving from California. He began sleeping at an unoccupied gas station in Detroit, where he met Corporal Harris, who was part of the department’s Unsheltered Response Unit.
“It’s something about his spirit that grabbed onto me. I was like, I gotta help this brother out. He’s one of our own. He’s sleeping outside in the city of Detroit. We gotta help him out,” Officer Harris told Local 4.
Through the departmental response team, Harris was able to offer valuable resources to Adrian that helped him transition from living on the street and re-acquire the documents that were stolen.
“We got Adrian at Team Wellness right now. Getting him set up for housing. And that’s our job, to get people set up for housing, get their documentation such social security, birth certificate,” Officer Harris told the news platform.
Adrian spoke to Local 4 News about his progress since their initial interaction.
“I been homeless for a year and a half altogether, sleeping out on the streets. I’m very blessed and feel very fortunate to have Officer Harris in my life now,” Adrian told Local 4.
The corporal has formed a brotherhood with Adrian and speaks to him often.
“Talk every day pretty much. He’ll call me and say ‘Hey Officer Harris how you doing? Just calling on you to say how you doing’ and I’ll call him to say what’s going on. How’s your mental over there? You’re doing good? Stay positive,” Harris said.
RELATED: Portland's non-police response team sees success, poised to expand