We first met Doug when he asked our Director of Operations if he could park his car in the parking lot for a while. He was living out of his car and wanted a safe spot. She said yes.
Doug would sleep in his vehicle, but a lot of time during the day, he would be sitting closer to the building, reading a book. Then he started helping. He helped us unload groceries, clothes closet drop offs, etc. He was handy!
I asked him his story one day: His girlfriend got mad and kicked him out. He had odd jobs, but was having some health issues and couldn’t work much. He said he was a veteran and even got to go with VetStar to see the eclipse in another state.
We were delighted when VetStar really stepped in and helped Doug find a place to live and helped him get the pacemaker he needed.
So he doesn’t live in our parking lot anymore. But we still see him—he is just a phone call away. Anytime we need extra help we call him. Sometimes he just shows up! He has been very helpful to the cleaners as they sweep, mop and take care of this huge building. We have to warn him not to overwork with his pacemaker.
Doug seemed to be the perfect client to help with our newest ministry. Men of Steel. It is an opportunity for the men that are here on Wednesday evenings for our meal and other ministries/services to give back to Lubbock Impact.
We asked Doug if he would be interested in helping to organize Men of Steel. He said yes and promised to be here each week. So in January 2018, Doug and 10 others met on a Thursday morning, picked up trash from the parking lot, went around the whole building cleaning up, brought shelves and old foosball machines down from the third floor, and offered to help in many other ways. At the end of it all they ate burritos.