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TImothy-our first project

W.O.W.!!!!!!

 

Women of Worth, member Debra Gallio tells how you CAN make a difference in your community and someone's life.

 

 

 

His name was Tim. Other than seeing him from time to time attend our local church service that is all I knew. He would wonder into our meetings dirty, smelly and unkempt. My first thoughts were of pity and wonderment of how Tim arrived at this point in his life. I would give Tim a few dollars here and there and then go on my way of being what I thought was a "Christian". But God, in his infinite wisdom, always has a way of letting us know "if we are listening" that we could and should be doing more. I soon began to question people around me if they knew anything of Tim's plight and what was being done to help him. My questions were met with, "He's been on the street for a while; we don't really know where he goes and why he is homeless; and then I decided to talk to Tim. Tim proceeded to tell me with uncontrolled body language and broken English that he had lived with his mother his entire life until she became sick and passed away and he was sent to the streets. This really touched my heart. Obviously this man had some mental handicaps and possibly some medical problems and had fallen through the cracks of our system. So, it was then I decided to take Tim's battles on myself. My first step in helping Tim was to secure an appointment with the Social Security Administration, hoping Tim could possibly be approved for benefits through his mother having paid into the administration. Our first appointment was January 4th of 2006. I did not have any idea of how to present Tim in an acceptable manner for his appointment because he had no way of cleaning himself up. So, that is when I sought the help of my brother, Mike Vaughan, owner of the Menecke at the corner of Eastern and Marlyn avenues in Essex. My brother also attends The Life Center of Essex (200 N Marlyn) with me and had also been very concerned for Tim. While most businesses had barred Tim from using their restrooms because he was not a paying customer and that his appearance did not attract business, I knew my brother would allow use of his restroom too clean Tim up for his first visit to Social Security. This was the beginning of an 8 month battle to secure help for Tim. Doctor's visits followed both medical and psychological visits. During these times we bought Tim clothing in order to make him presentable and he was like a child in a toy store. His whole face lit up and his question was "How do I look"?  Many of the people I knew would ask, how do you allow that smelly person in your car? This did not deter me. With the limited resources Tim had to clean himself up with many times I would have to spray my entire car afterwards. So what, there are worse things. I kept asking myself "What would Jesus do? Did the sick, the diseased, the old and the poor keep him away? I think NOT! So, onward we went. Many days I took of work to keep these appointments. We completed all that was required and then, we waited. The answer finally came August of 2006. Tim had been approved.  He also would receive back pay to the date of his application and now has medical benefits as well. Hallelujah!  This was the first step God had brought us through. Think about it. When has this process only taken 8 months and when do you get approved on the first go around. NEVER!!! This only proved to me that God was in this all the way. Our next step was to secure housing for Tim. 

 

Because Tim was a fixture in Essex, either walking or riding the bus almost everyone knew him. We began to put out the word that we needed a place for him to stay. One of the residents of Essex, Gene Vincent,  stepped up and offered a room in his home for Tim. Since Tim now had an income he could pay his way although Gene did not ask. He really wanted this to be a labor of love and in many ways has become a father figure for Tim. He has gone out of his way in many ways.  He and I  work together getting Tim back and forth to the doctors. Just recently Tim was diagnosed with Huntington's disease. We don't know how much longer Tim may have with us but what we do know is that Tim will never be alone again and will always be loved. To view a video of Tim's life before he came to us please click on the link below for "Tim-God's Child". This story was filmed and narrated by Gene Vincent. 

 

Tim's story has inspired all of us at WOW to continue our work with the homeless thorough out our community.

 

If you are interested in becoming a member of this dynamic program please call Debra Gallio @ 410-262-0875.

 

 http://lifecenteronline.org/index.php?s=gl&nid=128603.       

 

http://www.nlaconline.org/

 

 

"You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."   John Bunyan

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