Elderly Homeless Man in Park - How to Help?
June 24, 2022 2:10 PM   Subscribe

What can I do to get an elderly homeless diabetic man through this weekend with the heat expected to be brutal? He is under a shaded area in the park with a table. I am giving him ice, water and food as I can. I also gave him a battery-operated fan. I do not have a lot of resources and cannot ask him into my house due to safety and COVID plus elderly dog with health problems. Any suggestions on ways to help until I can find assistance?

He was recently living in a house owned by my neighbor who rents out rooms. The neighbor kicked this man out because they had some issues. Currently in Southern Louisiana: Temp 98F/Heat index 107F.

The gentleman does not speak English so our communication is not great. I use Translate on my phone as I can. I did learn from him that he has no friends or family in this area because they died.

My town does not have a lot of resources. I am working on contacting whoever I can find. Part of the issue is I just noticed he is living in the park yesterday evening. I just got 2 additional agencies to call but they are already closed and won't accept messages over the weekend.

I am concerned about driving him to shelters in New Orleans (closest resources) because he does not know the area. At least he knows stores and other places in my neighborhood where he can walk and can leave his belongings in relative safety at the park.

Thanks for any suggestions. I am so sad he is in this situation with no way to get help for himself.
posted by narancia to Human Relations (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does your city/town operate any sort of cooling centers (e.g., libraries, senior centers)? You could take him to and fro if it's too far for him to walk on his own.
posted by praemunire at 2:14 PM on June 24, 2022 [7 favorites]

Maybe call Louisiana's Aging and Adult Services Helpline: 866.758.5035.

Start with some of the resources here.

(I'm posting quickly as it's almost 5pm, and want you to get some of these numbers before offices possibly close. Thank you for helping him as much as you can.)

If there are any community groups or churches with members of the community of the language he speaks, they may be inclined to help him.
posted by hydra77 at 2:16 PM on June 24, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Oh, you can also call 211. It looks like that is an active thing in Louisiana. It's a way to access community services. link
posted by hydra77 at 2:18 PM on June 24, 2022 [5 favorites]

Is there a a church (or a mosque) that has a largely immigrant congregation in your city or nearby? Try calling them - there may be in-community resources or at least someone who speaks his language.
posted by Frowner at 2:24 PM on June 24, 2022 [5 favorites]

Also, what about New Orleans-area mutual aid groups? Imagine Mutual Aid on facebook posted this community resource guide although it looks like you could post your question on their facebook page too. Obviously they are in New Orleans and not where you are but they may have some advice or be able to hook this guy up with longer term resources. Also, maybe get a couple of ice packs, the bigger ones, or a cooler to hold them. If I can paypal you thirty bucks to help pay for something like this, go ahead and memail me.
posted by Frowner at 2:31 PM on June 24, 2022 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: I am in Jefferson Parish. On with 211 now. Getting helpful info.
posted by narancia at 3:11 PM on June 24, 2022 [18 favorites]

What language does he speak? Maybe there is a church or mosque or other religious place that can connect him to resources and people who speak his language?
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 8:39 PM on June 24, 2022 [2 favorites]

Can you ask his sizes and take him clean clothes? Cheap at GoodWill, and clean clothing just helps. also, sandals. You could offer to wash the existing clothing if needed; and you can do that in a sink or tub. Post on freecycle for a small cooler(sandals, etc.). Freeze clean plastic containers of water to fill the cooler.

You are a wonderful person. Happy to paypal you a few bux.
posted by theora55 at 12:30 PM on June 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I learned yesterday another neighbor is also trying to help him. We talked yesterday and used 211 for a translator to get more info from him. I appreciate all of the suggestions. 211 is very helpful and provided options for finding assistance.
posted by narancia at 9:12 AM on June 26, 2022 [4 favorites]

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