CAMARILLO, Calif.-- A homeless Camarillo man reunited with his family in Oregon. The reunification was made possible thanks to the Camarillo Police Department.
“The basic start to any success story is going out there and shaking a hand,” said Chris Dyer, who is a detective with the Camarillo Police Department.
The introduction might have changed one homeless man's life forever. Dyer not only a detective with the Camarillo Police Department, but he also oversees the department’s Project H.O.P.E. that helps serve and assist the homeless in the city of Camarillo.
“Last month I was informed by a patrol deputy of a possible homeless encampment on the intersection of Upland road and Flynn here in the city of Camarillo,” said Dyer. “I went out there and met this gentleman and found out a little more how he became homeless.”
Dyer learned the man’s family was from Oregon and he had become homeless after running into tough times. Dyer contacted the family who wanted him to return home. Project HOPE came up with an action plan to help the man find a job, housing, and mental health assistance before he was reunited with his family.
“So his family offered to purchase his ticket back to Oregon and a charitable donation here a group here in the city offered to ship his property back,” said Dyer.
Project HOPE has been a branch in the Camarillo Police department for nearly four years, but Dyer says reunifications are rare because there are a lot of obstacles to overcome like substance abuse.
“So I just want to make it clear we are not sending people away,” said Dyer. “We are not sending people back with no destination. This is a reunification with a family. So what we did is we talk to him and then we reached out to his family who dearly missed him, but had some concerns themselves.”
In this case the man's parents got a second chance at life with their son.
“A couple of days ago I received a letter from him and his mother and father that he got home for a late Christmas and they were very overjoyed to have him,” said Dyer.