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West Coast Care
1223 Wilshire Blvd. #865
Santa Monica, CA 90403
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Are you homeless in Santa Monica and need help getting home?
Meet us on the Santa Monica Pier at the blue gazebo
Monday - Friday at 10 a.m.
|West Coast Care is a 501c3 non-profit charity.
Your financial gifts are tax-deductible.
Our mission began nine years ago with one simple goal - Help every homeless person that we meet find a way off the streets. We have
hundreds of stories like Bill's every year of people who have been helped to find a better life. Thanks to all of our supporters!
I asked Bill if he still remembered his father's phone number.
He said, "I do, why?" Holding my cell phone I said, "Let's call
him, right now, and see what he has to say." Bill quickly
replied, "No! Don't!" He paused for a moment. "I'll leave, then
call him. Tell me tomorrow what my father says."
Bill had been sleeping on the streets in Santa Monica for more
than 10 years. He was an alcoholic, had a lot of trouble with the
law, and his health was declining. I met with Bill daily offering
help and encouragement, but he would reassert that all his hope
was lost. According to Bill, more than a decade ago he was
banned from his father's house in Florida after a disagreement.
"Don't ever step foot in this house again," Bill recounted his father's last words.
Thirty minutes later I dialed the number Bill had given me. A man answered in a southern draw, "Hello." I asked him if he knew anyone by
the name of Bill. The man said, "Yes" then the tone of his voice elevated as he continued, "He's my son!" His voice was shakier now, "It's
been a long time, at least ten years. Is he okay? Is he alive?"
I assured him that Bill was okay and then asked, "Do you think it would ever be possible for him to come back home again?" Without
hesitation he replied, "You tell my son, that he is always welcome at my house." I told him that I would work quickly to get Bill a ticket
The next day I found Bill at his usual place by the beach and relayed that I had talked with his father. Bill's eyes started to water. When I
told him about his father's okay about going home, Bill lowered his head and began to cry. I called his father and handed my cell to Bill.
After their emotional exchange he asked me, "How could I have been so wrong about my father for all these years?"
Bill is not unlike many of the homeless that we meet - the more isolated and withdrawn they become, the more distorted their memories.
Lack of accountability often turns little things become big things, and the mind makes room for a false and hopeless reality. Like so many
others who are homeless, Bill had convinced himself he had no other options. The truth, of course, was that he did.
Bill stopped drinking that day. He left for Orlando a few days later. His father happily greeted him when he arrived home. Bill is clean
and sober, and works on the family farm in Florida. The cycle of homelessness has been broken.