Homeless people get a bad rap in society. In many cases, they are shunned or people think the worst of them. They must be drunks, or drug addicts—there has to be a bad reason why they are out on the street. However, in reality, these are just people who have run into some bad luck, or did not find the support they needed.
One cop discovered this in the most heartbreaking way when he found a homeless man skulking between cars. He was not trying to steal, instead, the real reason stunned and deeply touched the officer.
Navy veteran Keith Lozier had found himself living on the streets due to financial and family troubles.
Five years ago, Keith Lozier, a veteran of the U.S. navy, found himself in a run of bad luck. Due to financial difficulties and family troubles, the struggling veteran found himself living on the street.
“I figured I was going to die in a tent for the longest time,” Lozier told KTXL News.
For five years, 66-year-old Lozier had been living out of a Safeway supermarket parking lot.
“I crawled into a wet, cold bed every night, all winter,” Lozier said. “And I begged God to take me, and he didn’t.”
But his run-in with the law changed his life.
A few years ago, Sergeant Anthony Prencipe was on patrol in the Safeway parking lot when he spotted Lozier dipping in between cars.
“It looked like he was testing door handles,” Sergeant Prencipe told KTXL News.
Prencipe believed that Lozier was attempting to steal those cars, but the truth was far more heartbreaking.
“As we watch more, he was picking up trash, walked over, and threw it away,” Prencipe said.
Lozier had, in reality, been picking up trash—cleaning the parking lot. When asked why he was doing that, his answer was heartbreaking.
“Because it was dirty and somebody had to do it,” Lozier told KTXL News. “And that’s my home.”
Prencipe was touched and heartbroken by Lozier’s situation—he vowed to do whatever he could to help.
Moved by Lozier’s humility, Prencipe went over to introduce himself. They got to talking for a while, and Prencipe promised to keep in touch with Lozier; he was going to help him.
For years after, Prencipe and the department he worked for took care of Lozier—helping him to survive while he lived on the streets.
On November 20, however, that all changed. Prencipe’s department began a homeless outreach program in May, and Lozier was first on their list.
“I can’t believe it’s really happening, for me.”
Through donations and support from several veteran’s affairs organizations, Prencipe managed to get Lozier into an apartment of his own, complete with furnishings.
“I can’t believe it’s really happening, for me,” Lozier told KTXL News. “All these people—they’ve stood by me for so long. And it’s really here.”
Lozier’s life was difficult, but thanks to Prencipe and others who spent their time helping him it is about to get better. His days of scraping by and sleeping in a leaking tent are now, finally, over.