Strangers help out homeless man
Bleu Brewer received an unexpected call last week in his Grass Valley motel room. A couple had just come onto the office and paid his bill for another week.
Brewer, homeless since late August, had borrowed money to stay at the Holiday Lodge in Grass Valley when the weather turned cold. Until then, he had been sleeping in his car.
Brewer walked out to the parking lot and was introduced to Judy Stitt and Bob Bellizzi, a Grass Valley couple.
“I just feel so blessed by your generosity,” Brewer told the couple. He wanted them to know how much he appreciated their gesture, helping a complete stranger. After a hug, the guardian angels departed.
When Stitt read an article about Brewer’s situation published Nov. 3 in The Union, she put down the newspaper and wondered what she could do. “What made me respond is that I felt less helpless,” Stitt said.
Stitt and her husband decided that their adult children could make do with fewer gifts this holiday season. Instead, they put the money towards Brewer’s room.
Brewer said the extra week’s stay was a great relief.
“I was stressing over my next move because I didn’t have much time,” he said.
More needs being met
Stitt and Bellizzi took their guardian angel role one step further. On Sunday, they took up a collection at their church, Sierra Center for Positive Living, and came up with enough money to extend Brewer’s stay at the motel four more days.
Stitt also is looking into finding a cat carrier for Brewer’s cat. She has spread the word among her church members about Brewer’s need for affordable, permanent housing. Brewer lives on state disability payments of $836 a month.
“This community has such a big heart,” Stitt said. “I just know there is a situation for him out there.”
Another local resident called Brewer last week with an apartment lead. As of Friday, he was still looking for a place to live.
Calling the generosity of those who responded to the article “overwhelming,” Brewer expressed optimism that he would find an apartment soon.
Brewer, who is disabled, had been concerned when the article was published that people might think that he is dishonest. He had told a reporter that, when he was sleeping in his car, he would park on Grass Valley streets and set his camera on his dashboard. When a police officer would wake him up and ask what he was doing, he would tell the officer he was waiting to take pictures of the moon.
Brewer said he really has taken a series of photographs of the moon and is working on a series of postcards.
He also said he felt uneasy about asking for help, as much as he appreciated others’ generosity.
“I’m used to providing services to others,” said Brewer, adding that he does what he can to help out his friends with rides and errands.
To contact Staff Writer Jill Bauerle, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4219.
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