'This restored my faith in humanity': Homeless vet gets help from stranger

Delivery man pays rent for homeless veteran's storage unit

OREGON CITY, Ore. -- A delivery truck driver who happened to be in the right place at the right time helped a homeless vet in need Wednesday.

Mitchell St. Marie was trying to pay rent for his storage unit at Money Saver Mini Storage in Oregon City, but he came up short. St. Marie had recently lost his job and his home and was keeping everything he had in the unit.

“It breaks my heart, because I don't get to pick and choose who I can help,” said storage facility manager Michelle Gardiner. “I have to stay in a neutral position and sometimes that's really hard.”

Oregon City police Officer Mike Day stopped by to help. It was his first week as the department's new homeless liaison. 

“We checked Mitchell’s balance and he only had about $68 left in his account,” said Day.

As Day and Gardiner agonized over what to do, a solution walked in through the door. Josh Dale had stopped by to make his usual delivery of packing supplies from Pioneer Packaging.

“While the manager was talking to the officer, I just kind of asked, ‘How much does he owe?’” Dale said.

“Next thing I know, [Dale] goes, ‘I'll pay for it!’” Officer Day said. “We said the rent was $172, and he said, ‘OK, well matter of fact, I'll go ahead and pay for two months.’”

Dale said it just felt good to give back, something he said his parents taught him to do.

“I got to help somebody out and bonus—it was a vet,” he said.

The group went and told St. Marie, who had been sorting through his belongings, preparing to part with most of them.

“He teared up a little bit,” said Gardiner. “He just couldn't believe that somebody was willing to do something like that for him.”

Day said witnessing the act of generosity was powerful.

“I still have faith in humanity, but for those who are maybe lacking a little bit of faith in humanity, it's acts like that that restore faith,” said Day.

“I'm nobody special,” said Dale. “I'm just a guy who happened to be in a certain place at a certain time. I saw an opportunity to help somebody so I did.”

Day said because of that, Mitchell has a fighting chance.

“He wants to get on his feet, very much,” said Day. “I hope and believe that what Josh did will spark others to do good deeds.”

© 2017 KGW-TV


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