Stories from the Basement

Stories from the Basement: June 2014

By Donna Clark RN, Director

There are people you meet in life that leave an impact on your heart and this month we lost one of those. He had been in and out of shelters for years and his personality made friends wherever he went. I met him for the first time in the Cold Weather Shelter Project at Trinity United Methodist Church this past winter. He was sitting on his cot, small in stature and quiet spoken. His smile was huge and his eyes were clear and bright. I learned he was battling cancer of the stomach and was receiving treatment at PRMC. The shelter was very accommodating about his diet and did all they could to help him get nutrition. There was family, we learned, in the area and we tried to create a bridge of healing. It worked for a while but the problems that contributed to his homeless situation originally ended up resurfacing while with his family. He soon left the unsafe toxic environment and moved back to the streets. He was quiet and made a point to stay out of any drama that surrounded him in the shelters. His bible was always open and he read it constantly. The volunteers that worked with him loved him and tried their best to see that he had everything he needed to move onto the next shelter.
Eventually he had to stay at PRMC and subsequently moved to Genesis Health Care Center. His health was failing but he clung to his strong faith in God and never gave up on the hope he would get well again.

The shelter ended the end of March. He had no place to go that was safe and his strength was weakening. Another admission to PRMC led to the decision to refer him to Coastal Hospice for care. His kind and gentle manner and desire to be with friends touched the hearts of several volunteers in his life. God moved the heart of one of our employees and Ben’s final days were spent in the loving care of God’s angels. Ben died peacefully June 10th leaving a legacy of love for those around him.

What greater honor than to live out the words of Matthew 25: 34-40.