I am sad to say that our friend Ron passed away on January 16th, 2017. Ron was a faceless and unknown homeless man who lived in the cemetery on Bennett St. in Grass Valley. He lived under a tarp as he did not want a tent that might draw attention to him.
He was recently told he had just a few weeks to live and was happy to go back under his tarp and die. He was a friend of Sierra Roots and Divine Spark. I met Ron several times at different homeless functions despite the fact he did not have a pet.
Ron took full responsibility for his situation and often said, "I drank myself to death." He asked for nothing, wanted nothing and was humbled, grateful, stilled, by your generosity.
Our community put aside judgment, dislike, name calling, and turning our backs and rallied, together, to see Ron died with dignity. You gathered financial resources and saw he was safe in a warm motel. He then was transferred to a rest home where he received the help he needed to send his spirit to the heavens.
We are a light in a dark world and have shown the entire world that we can come together and epitomize the word “community. We are the love and we are one.
Thank you Nevada County for making Ron's transition a warm and safe one surrounded by the love of all of our community. Ron, may the light of a thousand stars guide you to heaven and may you look down upon us and remind us to always be kind.
Patti Galle, of Nevada County Pets of the Homeless, raised over $3500 for Ron's care by postings on Nevada County Peeps, a social media Facebook group.
More about Ron’s care and passing:
After three weeks of living alone in a motel room, it was decided by Hospice nurses that Ron was not doing well living alone there. Judy Steffens, a retired Hospice nurse and volunteer for Sierra Roots, offered to take Ron into her home and take care of him for as long as needed. For a while, Ron was comfortable and well cared for but soon needed constant care. Hospice nurses were able to get him into Crystal Springs Nursing home where he died quietly and peacefully within a few days.
With the help of many generous people, we were able to help Ron in his last hours. We respected his desire for privacy and peace as he quietly accepted his situation and awaited his passing. Ron was 63 years old.