It was an ordinary day at a shopping center in Cameron Park, California. As customers shopped in the local supermarket, deputies from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office were on hand to keep an eye on the parking lot.
Everything seemed to be in order—until they saw a man walking back and forth between the cars. It immediately raised their suspicions.
“It looked like he was testing door handles,” Sergeant Anthony Prencipe told KTXL. “He was crouching down around vehicles.”
The man was haggard-looking and in his 60s. Fearing that the man was up to no good, the officers approached him—and quickly realized he wasn’t doing anything wrong.
He was cleaning the parking lot.
“As we watch more, he picked up the trash, walked over and threw it away,” Prencipe added.
The man’s name was Keith Lozier. He wasn’t cleaning up the lot to be an environmentalist or a good samaritan. For him, it was just housekeeping. Lozier was homeless, and that parking lot was all he had.
“[The parking lot] was dirty, and somebody had to do it,” Lozier explained.
“And that’s my home.”
The officers were moved when they discovered the real story of what Lozier was doing—especially when they realized he was a Navy veteran. They began to keep in touch with him over the next few years.
But during that time, Lozier remained homeless, and he struggled out on the streets. He was given a spacious tent to live in, but its leaks proved to be hazardous during the cold weather.
“I crawled into a wet, cold bed every night all winter,” he recalled to KTXL. “And it was hard.”
“I would ask God to take me. But he didn’t. Maybe because he had other plans.”
There were other plans in store for Lozier. Years after that fateful encounter in the parking lot, Lozier’s newfound friendship with the local officers paid off in a major way.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office began a Homeless Outreach Team in May, helping to provide housing accommodations to those in need.
Lozier was the first person they thought of for the housing program.
The program helped Lozier find his own apartment in a senior home in Placerville. The officers were more than happy to help Lozier move in, supplying him with a new bed and furniture.
“For me, the ultimate goal is helping someone,” Deputy Chris Macras told KCRA. “My personal rule is: When I die, I want to be able to say I gave more than I took.”
Other local organizations like Military Support Group and Only Kindness Inc. stepped up to fill the home with food and supplies—so when Lozier moved in to his new apartment, it was already home.
“They give me the strength to keep going.” A Placerville Navy veteran has been calling a grocery store parking lot home for nearly five years. Today is a fresh start. El Dorado County Sheriff's Office's recent Homeless Outreach Team partnered with local outreach organizations Only Kindness, Inc. and Military Family Support Group to move him into a new home– already filled with love.KCRA 3 –> http://www.kcra.com/article/see-the-moment-a-placerville-veteran-gets-a-new-home/13815171
Posted by Vicki Gonzalez on Monday, November 20, 2017
Everyone was happy to help out to finally give the old vet a place to live.
“He’s earned it,” volunteer Julia LeConte told KCRA. “He’s worthy of all of this attention, and all of this love and care.”
Lozier was stunned by the act of kindness—after years of despair, it was a major turning point in his life.
“I honestly never dreamed this was possible,” he told KCRA. “I had got to a point, I just believed I was going to die on the street.”
“They give me the strength to keep going.”
While he’s thrilled to finally have a home, he knows others aren’t so lucky. He hopes programs like this will continue to help people off the streets.
“I’m not the first and I pray to God I am not the last, because other people need a home too,” he told KCRA.
“Everybody deserves a place to live.”