Mitchell St. Marie
On July 3rd, I contacted a homeless male named Mitchell St. Marie at Safeway. I learned Mitchell had been homeless for the last 9 months. Mitchell lost his residence when he couldn't afford rent and he lost his job because he was falling asleep at work resulting from poor sleep on the streets. Mitchell was friendly and pleasant to speak with. He informed me he was a U.S. Army Veteran. I also learned he was diabetic and reported having a wound on his leg. Mitchell was living off of what he reported to be about $1,000 in his savings account and he had no income.
I reached out to Clackamas County Homeless Veteran Outreach Specialist Dave Denney in an effort to connect Mitchell with services. On July 5th, Mr. Denney and I met with Mitchell where his storage unit is located.
During my follow-up contact with Mitchell, I learned he was wrong about the remaining balance in his savings account. Mitchell only had about $68 left in his savings account and owed $172 dollars for the storage unit, which was filled with his personal belongings. In addition to learning Mitchell was at risk of losing his storage unit, I saw a wound on his leg/foot which appeared to be severely infected.
Given the severity of the wound to Mitchell's leg, I requested medical personnel respond to our location to check on him. I also spoke to the office staff of the storage company, explaining Mitchell's situation. While I was informing staff about the tough spot Mitchell was in, an employee for Pioneer Packaging named Josh Dale was also in the office. Mr. Dale overheard me talking about Mitchell's situation and I was taken aback by his generous reaction. Mr. Dale said he would pay for Mitchell's storage unit. Mr. Dale proceeded to pay for the storage unit for two months, for a total of $344. This random act of kindness by Mr. Dale was a wonderful gift to Mitchell. I felt privileged to have met Mr. Dale and to have witnessed his generosity. Mr. Dale, Mr. Denney, and I were able to get a photograph with Mitchell, so we could always remember this moment.
After Mr. Dale's generous act, Mitchell was transported by ambulance to the emergency room, where I later learned he was admitted. While we didn't find housing for Mitchell as we ultimately desire, he was relieved of the financial stress of paying for his storage unit by Mr. Dale and he will be receiving what seems to be much-needed medical attention.
I'm thankful to have been a part of this circumstance in my new role as the Homeless Liaison Officer. Attached are a couple of pictures of Mr. Dale, Mr. Denney, Mitchell St. Marie, and me.