A little over 60 years ago, Olimer dedicated his professional career to serving his country and community. In the 1950s, he joined the Army and worked in communications. After 6 years, he left the military and trained to become a police officer in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Helping to safeguard people was his passion and he carried that value with him as he moved to San Francisco 30 years ago to be closer to family.
Now in his early 80s, Olimer is battling a host of medical conditions including diabetes and is in need of help. He is homebound relying on an electric wheelchair to move around and lives alone with no surviving family members. When he was released from the hospital after suffering a heart attack, his medical providers recommended he would need assistance if he wanted to continue to live independently in his first-floor studio apartment in the city’s Tenderloin District. That’s when he met two special people who would become his new friends; Michael, his caregiver, and Cleo, his Meals on Wheels driver.
“I’ve been delivering meals to Olimer for three years; he’s a sweet man,” explained Cleunir (known by Meals on Wheels staff as “Cleo”).
When Cleo and Michael noticed that Olimer’s bed was extremely worn and used, they set the wheels in motion for him to receive a new one through the Home Depot Foundation’s Helping Homebound Heroes program. The program also provided him with a new armrest chair, vacuum cleaner, and DVD player.
Olimer appreciates the new furniture, particularly the new bed which is the right size for him and his little service dog companion, Rascal, a Tibetan Spaniel, to rest on while watching television. He also likes having Cleo come over daily to deliver a meal he can heat up and also check in on him to make sure he’s o.k.
“On Christmas eve, I delivered his meal and some pictures we took of him and Rascal, which he really liked,” said Cleo. “He was so happy to see me. He told me I was his best friend and was so thankful for the visit and everything.”
Did You Know?
- Fifteen percent of the clients we serve at Meals on Wheels San Francisco are veterans who have served our country?
- As part of our commitment to these brave men and women and their spouses, we are very fortunate to partner with Meals on Wheels America and the Home Depot Foundation’s Helping Homebound Heroes program.
- Through this program, we have provided shower chairs, replaced old and uncomfortable mattresses, and installed lift chairs so seniors can safely navigate in their homes.
- The Home Depot Foundation has improved over 37,000 homes for veterans across the country since 2011.