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Virginia Beach police officer takes action to help homeless couple

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Posted at 11:54 AM, Nov 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-16 13:06:52-05

Virginia Beach, Va. – A homeless couple was provided a warm bed to sleep in for a night, thanks to one Virginia Beach police officer.

On November 14, a man called police saying he needed to find a homeless shelter for he and his wife, who is 8 months pregnant and has diabetes.

Officer Joshua Massel responded to the call and met the man and his wife at their car.

It was only 38 degrees that night. The woman was wearing a short sleeve shirt and was shivering.

The man told Officer Massel that they were homeless and he was concerned for his wife’s and future child’s health.

Before calling police, the man and his wife tried to call several shelters, but no one was able to provide them assistance.

That’s when Officer Massel took action.

He started calling a list of known shelters around the area, but every shelter said they had no room for more people.

“Officer Massel could not in good conscious leave an 8 month pregnant woman on the street to sleep in the cold,” police said.

While talking to the couple, Officer Massel learned that someone paid for them to stay the night at a local hotel.

After getting approval from his Sergeant, Officer Massel met up with the couple at Howard Johnson’s Hotel and paid for the room out of his pocket.  The hotel even provided a discount for the room.

Massel gave his business card to the hotel manager in case the couple needed anything else.

A 911 supervisor gave the couple the number of a shelter that opened the next morning, along with the number of a crisis pregnancy center.

“Officer Massel did not do this for personal recognition, but because he felt it was the right thing to do. This is a prime example of the true spirit of police officers in Virginia Beach and around the country that too often goes unreported and unnoticed,” the Virginia Beach Police Department posted on their Facebook page. “On a daily basis police officers act as a community caretaker, helping those who cannot help themselves.”