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Local frostbite amputee needs our help

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My name is Melody Horner and I am a community member born and raised here in Bend Oregon. On Sunday, the 7th of November my sister and I met a gentleman named Dave.

He was outside of Rite Aid alone, shivering in a wheelchair — he did not ask but we knew he needed help. My sister bought him two blankets, and when we delivered them I noticed the blood stains on his pants. Upon speaking with him I learned his legs were amputated due to frostbite. He was seen by paramedics earlier that day for injuries on his stumps. I spoke with him and promised him that although I didn’t know how I could help - I would do what I could. I called the homeless shelters and they were either full or had a lengthy application process that takes weeks. That night I personally did what I could to get him clean clothing, body warmers and supplies. 

I made a Facebook post asking for the community’s help in getting Dave sheltered. Many suggested I make a GoFundMe page so they could send monetary donations. 

I was connected with Stacey Witte from REACH,by Donna Burklo of Family Kitchen. Donna met  with me at Rite Aid and delivered a warm meal, clothing and supplies. 

Soon after, I learned Dave did not have ID nor his bank card which made it incredibly difficult to secure him overnight shelter in hotels - even with adequate funds. 

Speaking with Donna and Stacey I realized many agencies were already familiar with Dave and were actively working on helping him, but there were personal barriers as well as business policy barriers that prevented them from the ability to shelter Dave. 

Stacey was working on getting the hotel to override their policy on identification to allow Dave tostay, due to the DMV not having the availability to help Dave until the end of December. 

Unfortunately all efforts to save Dave were lost on the early hours of Tuesday morning, when the news of Dave’s passing circulated. 

I am aware that community members and donors of this campaign are concerned and want to know where the funds will be used — I offered the funds to David’s family for a service but they respectfully declined and wants to see the money going to help others in need so I plan on donating 100% of the funds to REACH here in Bend in honor of Dave. REACH is a non-profit organization that serves the community, providing assistance and outreach to residents in need. 

Together we will form a plan to directly serve those in need in honor of Dave, on behalf of those of you that donated in support of him.

If you have any concerns on the authenticity of this campaign or have any additional questions feel free to contact me directly at (541) 633 - 0601 or Stacey Witte

Thank you to everyone who was touched by Dave’s story and wanted to help. My family was truly heart broken to hear of his passing. Every donation, every share, every voice will help make a lasting difference for those that continue to struggle in our community. I only knew Dave for a short time but find peace in knowing that in his final days he knew there were people fighting for him and believing in him. 

May Dave Rest In Peace.

If you are wanting to help further: City Council is about to consider a tax that would make a HUGE difference in allowing organizations like Colleen Sinsky’s (Central Oregon FUSE) to provide supportive housing for folks like Dave who are currently experiencing chronic homelessness. If you contact Council, in addition to asking for them to fund a year-round low-barrier shelter, you could ask for them to implement the maximum Construction Excise Tax. More info in this editorial.


Melody Horner
Bend, OR

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