(KMTR) - A local woman trying to help a man who's fallen on tough times has hit a dead end.
Now she's reaching out to the community to get ideas what to do next.
Pauline, who asked to go by her middle name for privacy, has lived in Eugene for more than ten years. She says she has passed by many people living on the street and she realizes homelessness is too big a problem for her to take on by herself. Still wanting to help she thought, what if she could help just one person?
Pauline had noticed Tim many times, near the bridge on 18th and Chambers in West Eugene. Tim is just 25 and lives under the bridge. Pauline wondered how he ended up without a home so one day, she asked Tim to lunch. She learned he moved to Eugene in 2011. Tim was a computer tech in northern California who moved here looking for work, but quickly ran out of luck.
"My temporary living situation ended abruptly before I could get a job and I had nowhere to go back to,” says Tim.
He explained that his father passed away in 2010 and his mother is “unfortunately addicted to methamphetamines right now.” With nowhere to turn, Tim has lived on the street ever since. “More or less, I've just been trying to survive. It takes a lot of time to make enough to eat every day,” he said.
Pauline has been helping Tim since January. She took him to do his laundry, set him up to fix his glasses - which Rainbow Optics in Eugene provided free of charge - and now she's trying to help him find housing.
Pauline’s offered to use her tax return money to pay for the first two months of rent for Tim while he saves up funds, but the two still haven't found a solution.
"There are a lot of great programs that will help our veterans who proudly served, that will help those with mental and/or substance- and alcohol-abuse problems,” says Pauline. But she says Tim doesn’t fit any of those categories.
“Tim has none of that. Tim is sober. Tim is clean. Tim has always been clean and sober and so, sadly, he seems to fall through the cracks,” says Pauline.
Pauline says once he has a home, Tim will be able to participate in St. Vincent de Paul's Vocational Rehabilitation Program and likely be placed in a job. But without a place to shower, sleep and take care of himself, he doesn't have that option.
Hitting a brick wall, Pauline and Tim are turning to the community.
If you have a place for rent or know someone who does, they've set up an e-mail account for people looking to help out. If you think you have a solution for Tim, that email address is WorkTimHome@gmail.com. They’ve also put up a Craigslist ad, which you can access here.