Gary has always believed in two things: hard work and family.
He courageously served our country like his father did before him. He worked hard to make a life for himself just like he was taught to do.
After serving in the military, he spent decades working at warehouses, on Alaskan fishing boats, and in commercial kitchens. All to support himself and his family.
He had a job. He had a home. He donated food to people staying here at The Rescue Mission.
But then his mom was diagnosed with dementia and lung cancer…
As his mother’s health worsened, it became dangerous for her to live alone. But, her only wish was to live out the rest of her life in the home that she and her husband of 50 years had shared before he passed away from Leukemia.
“She wanted to die at home just like my dad did six years ago . . . I wanted to give her that.”
So Gary moved in. He bathed her and fed her just like she did for him when he was a kid.
“I quit my job my job and took care of my mom for almost two years.” Gary shares. “I was with her until the end.”
After Gary’s mom died he planned to live in her house or sell it. But, he found out that his dad had taken out a reverse mortgage on the house. There wasn’t enough money to pay it off, so the bank foreclosed.
He lost his mother and home in a span of two months. Suddenly, at 59 years old, Gary was facing homelessness.
Gary came to the Tacoma Rescue Mission.
He never thought he’d be getting help from the very place that he and his mom used to donate food to.
With a stable place to stay at the Mission, he quickly found work. But even with two jobs, Gary still couldn’t afford the first and last month’s rent to get an apartment.
Our staff came alongside Gary to help him find and get affordable housing.
Gary, like many men and women experiencing homelessness, just needed a little time and help to get back on his feet.
Your gifts made that possible.
Everyone who comes to the Mission has a unique story. Your gifts provide meals, shelter and essential care tailored to each individual’s needs so they can escape homelessness and rebuild their lives.