Local group continues mission to secure permanent housing for homeless senior

A group of local do-gooders are continuing their work to find permanent housing for a senior who had been living in his truck with his two dogs for two-and-a-half years.

“Everything’s a challenge when you live in a truck, even a big car like the Escalade,” the 64-year-old told CTV News. “Everything’s a challenge. Cooking, keeping yourself clean, brushing your teeth, everything becomes a challenge.”

The group, known as the “Housing Helpers” on Facebook, was first made aware of George’s living circumstances in December. With the harsh winter temperatures and concerns for safety for both George and his dogs, they made the decision to step up.

“It’s definitely been a learning curve, one that none of our admins regrets for one second,” said group member Jocelyn Schaefer. “It’s a lot of hard work, but we’ve had a lot of very, very supportive people and we continue to have a lot of supportive people, which we are very, very thankful for.”

By mid-January, George was living at an Airbnb funded by Housing Helpers. Those donations have since dwindled and the group is paying out of pocket for his expenses. George then had to make one of the toughest decisions he’s ever had to make – giving up his dogs to the local humane society.

“I trust this group with my life,” he explained. “I made the hard sacrifice. It’s a hard decision, but the hardest one was the dogs. And I got to tell you, I’m still not certain I made the right decision, but I didn’t have a choice.” George now lives at a motel, weighing his options and patiently looking for an affordable place to live. “Once again, I just got to say you can’t give up.” He hopes he’ll be able to share his new home with a furry companion.

Read the full story with accompanying video on CTV Kitchener News:

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