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How a formerly homeless retired police officer is getting back on his feet with the community's help

“At least I got a roof over my head, four walls and I’m not out in the cold," he said.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphians are coming together to help a retired police officer who’s been living unhoused for months.

Now that one person has stepped up, others have followed.  

“Ever since I’ve been here in Memphis, Tennessee it’s been one tragedy after another,” said Don, a former police officer in Ohio.  

He first moved to Memphis to help a friend, but shortly after, he fell on hard luck. 

“Next thing you know I got robbed, not once but twice,” he said. “My car got towed and then I became on the street.”

“I had a voucher with Memphis Housing Authority and I’ve been waiting for an apartment for two months,” said the former officer. “Hadn’t gotten it yet.”

Don’s since gotten steady work and he’s not giving up.

“You got to help yourself, and I’m helping myself one way or another.”

Community members are helping too, led by a woman who regularly feeds those who are without a home. The group has furnished Don’s new apartment. 

“Dana has been a star,” Don explained. “She has reached out from day one and made sure I was comfortable. Now she made sure I got furnishings. She’s making sure I got everything.”

In his new apartment, Don discovered a bare kitchen with no appliances and countertops. He and his roommate reached out to their landlord about the issue and are waiting to hear back.

“It is what it is,” said Don. “At least I got a roof over my head, four walls and I’m not out in the cold.”

He shared he wants Memphians to recognize one main thing.

“People need to be more generous, people need to step up to the plate when you ask for help, they need to at least help you," he said.

If you know of a person without a home, you can reach out to the Hospitality Hub, which provides relief from homelessness while working with families to ensure housing and financial stability.