We’ve all heard the saying, “no good deed goes unnoticed”, but if you ask Pastor Tami Robinson, her good deed got noticed and also had her arrested.  Pastor Tami Robinson said she was just doing God’s work by moving people into two abandoned homes in the Florida county of Hillsborough. Robinson filled out paperwork with the Property Appraiser’s Office and then changed the locks on the doors. She supplied the new tenants with keys to their new home.

The pastor’s good deed turned into an illegal crime. According to the Hillsborough County’s Sheriff Office, her crime involved burglary, fraud and grand theft. The pastor, along with another church member, were eventually arrested.  Robinson is now suing the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office accusing them of harassment and racial prejudice. According to Robinson, she did not break the law because she took possession of the houses through an obscure legal concept called “adverse possession.”  Florida Statute 95.18 allows people to request that a judge give them permission to take possession of a home if it has been abandoned with the condition that they, amongst other things, fix the home up, occupy it and pay the taxes for at least seven years. Robinson says that she notified the homeowners through writing that she was going to attempt adverse possession.

According to The Tampa Bay Times,  Robinson expressed her displeasure at being arrested because she says that if the owners of the home had asked the tenants to vacate the home, they would have done so without having to have deputies involved. Robinson said, “I didn’t want to do anything illegal and if this is so illegal, why does no one stop you and say, ‘You can be put in jail, be called a criminal, be charged with grand theft?’ At no time during my filing — or while talking to the Property Appraiser’s Office — was I told this.”

According to deputies, one of the homeowners was in  Texas at an Air Force Base, in active service while the other owner was planning to sell the home in a short-sale.


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  • D.T.

    I’ll just wait for more information about this to be released before I consider this a “good deed.” I smell fish….

  • Mina

    That picture is photoshopped to the max! Vanity is a sin lady.

    Anyway, I’d also need to have more info before actually commenting seriously. I can totally understand why the house would be abandoned by the person who was serving in the military. But Instead of writing, obviously the homes would be abandoned and how would you even get the message relayed then?

    Anyway, she should have emailed them, got their number some kind of way and asked if the homes were still in use or if they could sell the homes to her. I understand it’s a good deed to place the homeless in homes but seriously, she should have done some research beforehand and should have made sure to get all the contact numbers and necessary paperwork before going into those homes.

    She could have also created a program where people can donate money to help establish housing neighborhoods for the homeless or could have had them living in her house as well. She could have upcycled an old bus and turned it into an RV or something for the homeless to live in. She could have upcycled old shipping crate boxes into homes. I mean I see restaurants that were upcycled from these metal crate boxes all the time, she totally could have done the same. There’s no excuse.

  • Maria

    Im confused… and I read the article.

    I must be having one of my “slow” days.

  • Shirl

    Gosh I wish she hadn’t pulled the race card. In this case I don’t believe racial prejudice played a part in her arrest at all.

  • Kam

    It would have been helpful to link back to the original Tampa Bay article which gives more information. However I was able to find it by myself. Unfortunately I do not think this pastor thought this out very well. One of the homes belonged to a woman serving in the Air Force. Another home belonged to a couple who was selling the house in a short sale and were already showing the home to potential buyers.Sorry but she did not go about this the right way. My advice is get a lawyer that can guide you through the whole process.