Thursday, September 24, 2009

Homeless Sacramento couple gets check for nearly $1 million, and expect to help Safe Ground as much as they can


If only all of Sacramento's homeless people could get such great good news …

The Atlantic correspondent Christina Davidson has been touring our country, writing recession stories.  One she wrote, on the 17th, was about Charles and Elizabeth Zimmerman, called "Mending Broken Hearts in Sacramento's New Tent Village."

Well, now Derek Thompson of Business magazine alerts us that there's been a sudden, dramatic, very fortuitous development:  Sen. Kay Baily Hutchenson of Texas saw Davidson's article and intervened.

Here from Davidson's Road Tour journal, today's entry:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) apparently read my piece about the Zimmermans and contacted Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV), who sits on the Committee on Veterans Affairs. As a result of their efforts, Charles Zimmerman had a mind-blowing meeting with a VA official yesterday afternoon.

Charles called me as soon as the meeting had ended to tell me that the VA had apologized for delaying resolution of his case for so long. He said they told him he would start receiving full benefits within a matter of weeks, including an initial check that would cover backpay for the past 18 years since his retirement.

"Are you sitting down?" Charles asks. "Yes," I say. "They say they'll be sending me a check for $972,000," he replies.

We both laugh semi-hysterically for a bit before calming down enough to discuss rationally. "What are you going to do with all that money?" I ask. "Retire," he says. "Then help Safe Ground as much as I can. And that's it."

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