■ Bob Haunschild / Columnist
This is a heartwarming true story of how local angels from Hemet and San Jacinto, working together, were able to assist a local resident in reclaiming his dignity, life and sense of purpose once again.
Let us start at the beginning. In October 2016, Mrs. O (angel #1), was leaving the parking lot of a large shopping center and noticed through the windshield something she felt was “peculiar.” A nice looking, fit, neat gentleman sitting in a lawn chair next to his apparent abode, a tent.
I believe most of us would have regarded the scene as “how sad” and continued with our day, but not Mrs. O. She asked her husband to drive over to the gentleman, so she could understand what the deal was. Mrs. O learned the following.
Mr. B was age 70, a retired engineer by profession, with a master’s degree, having worked for one of the largest technical firms in the world for 35 years. He had resided in one of the nicest communities in Hemet for the last 10 years until the last 10 days.
He had been living off an accumulated sum in an IRA. The home he was renting had been short sold and he was on the street: no money, no relatives and seemed to be at a complete loss.
Mrs. O located a local realtor (angel #2) who had a home Mr. B. could occupy for a couple of weeks, so he was at least out of the elements. Mrs. O contacted Valley Restart in Hemet, who agreed to interview Mr. B.
(Angel #3) stepped up and transported Mr. B to Valley Restart the next week. It did not originally look promising as they were quite full and it normally took a while to get admitted.
Within 30 minutes however, Linda Rogers, manager of Valley Restart (angel #4), said she decided to listen to God, who told her she would not be using the word “no” when talking with Mr. B and Valley Restart would admit him right away!
Now, Mr. B had shelter, food and can start the process of recovering a lost Green Card, reapplying for Social Security, a pension from his former employer and a pension from his homeland in Europe. These benefits due him had all been denied to him over months and months of effort and the bureaucracy involved had won.
Angel #3 decided to get the Congress involved, so off to Lisa Davis (angel #5) at the office of Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz in Hemet, to sort out, figure out and navigate the red tape that had blocked Mr. B from receiving his three benefit income sources. Lisa Davis and her team did an outstanding job, and now after five months, Mr. B can have his entitled financial freedom!
We needed a few more angels regarding transportation and housing. When you have a history, acquiring these things can be a challenge.
Richard Perry (angel #6) owns VIP Autos in Hemet. When he learned of Mr. B’s history and needs, he made it possible for Mr. B to acquire a car at a deep discount, plus other generous considerations. For the first time in a year Mr. B is mobile. Think what that alone would mean to you.
The housing situation was solved when Mr. M (angel #7) answers the call to hunt (yes, I mean hunt) and find a person who has a home that may be a little bit too large and too quiet and would consider a guest tenant to share in expenses, etc. These circumstances exist; they just need to be discovered. Enter (angel #8) who opens up heart and home and that issue is solved.
Mrs. D (Angel #9) hears of all this and is now over at Valley Restart, teaching, counseling those residents, so while they are there, they more efficiently learn self-improvement skills to get “upward and onward” with their lives.
You have heard the commercial slogan, “What’s in your Wallet?” My question would be “When you look out your windshield, what do you see?”
Some may say they do not believe in angels or miracles. I wonder if they may have a fool for a counselor.
This good news story shows it does not matter where you are, it matters who you are.