Finding a home for the homeless in Bellevue | Letter

Here is an uplifting story of how one-on-one support and team effort helped the homeless person in my neighborhood of Eastgate, Bellevue.

For years, Dennis was seen walking up and down the streets carrying his water jugs and bags on his shoulders. He visited our Albertsons store for his necessities and formed a very special bond with one of the caring and compassionate cashiers. One of my neighbors and I would say, “Hello, Dennis” when we met him.

Dennis is a graduate of the Ivy League Dartmouth college, speaks three languages and is a former journalist. But despite his success, he usually camped in the bushes around the area and then disappeared in the middle of December during the sub-freezing temperatures.

Two weeks ago, I received a call from the cashier at Albertsons in the evening to say Dennis needed to go to a shelter since he was sitting at Albertsons all day and too weak to walk. My friend and I went to the store immediately and slowly with utmost respect and patience gained his trust whereby he shared his sister’s name. My friend and her husband found her address and phone number and contacted her in Seattle. Dennis is now reunited with his sister after 34 years! It takes a team effort to find the resources for the homeless based on their individual needs as is evidenced by this story of how one person went from living in the bushes to the warmth and comfort of finding a home with family.

Farida Hakim