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Quest to eradicate homelessness

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For the past several years, EO Southeast Virginia member, Frank Tommaso, has been quietly feeding the homeless. 

Once a month, Tommaso uses his own funds to purchase food to feed the homeless at a local homeless shelter in Virginia Beach, VA.

At first, Tommaso and his family would buy, cook, and serve the food all by themselves. Soon other families joined the cause. 

He recently introduced the efforts to chapter members as well. He now creates MyEO events each time he organizes an event to feed the homeless. His efforts are gaining traction not only with the chapter, but throughout the community.

EO members, from left to right, Marion Long, Frank Tommaso, Erik J. Olson

“It’s a relatively low cost for me to help – a few hundred dollars and 3-4 hours each time. But we can affect a hundred people’s lives at a time”, says Tommaso. 

Although homelessness is not a serious problem in Virginia Beach, there are still approximately 400 people afflicted in the city. A small enough number that Tommaso believes he can completely eradicate homelessness in the region. 

His personal goal is to reduce the number to zero. 

The impact of his efforts are immeasurable. Tomasso has received stories of individuals who wanted help and have gotten back on their feet due to the assistance provided by the homeless shelter. 

Frank Tomasso preparing a large batch of pasta

One older gentleman wrote Tommaso a letter explaining how he came to the homeless shelter with nothing. With the assistance of the shelter, and volunteers like Tommaso, he recently bought his own tent and a heater. Now he’s getting his money straight and looking for help to get his own place.

“Even if you affect just one person’s life by connecting him with somebody, it’s worth it. If I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have been able to help him” says Tommaso. 

“There are people who really want to get out of their situation, and others who don’t. As leaders we have a unique position and the ability to lead in a manner that uplifts people and makes a difference.”

“It’s a gift we all have. It’s a gift we should recognize. We shouldn’t squander that gift by simply focusing on making money. It’s easy to make money, but there are other things in life besides simply making money. Helping others is what drives me.”