Police Officers Reunite Homeless Woman with Family

on Oct6
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Two Glendale police officers reunited a homeless woman with her family in Oregon.

Officers Daniel Lee and Mark Newborg said they first noticed the woman sleeping on a bench as they were driving through Glendale.

“I was really curious and I really wanted to help her, because that’s nowhere for anybody to be,” Lee said.

Lee and Newborg said they were concerned for the woman’s condition and reached out to her. They learned that her name was Carol Ann, and she was born in Oregon before traveling to Texas with her family in her youth. However, her family experienced financial difficulties in Texas and eventually became homeless.

Newborg said Carol Ann and her mother, Tina, traveled from Texas to California by bus in 2017 to find a new beginning. But they experienced continued homelessness and poverty and eventually became separated in the Greater Los Angeles Area while they were out searching for housing and employment opportunities.

Tina eventually made her way back to Oregon while Carol Ann stayed in California, Newborg said. Carol Ann made her way to Glendale, and stayed on a bench for about a year before Lee and Newborg found her.

Newborg said Carol Ann was not receiving any general relief or mental health services during her period of homelessness.

“Looking at her ID photo, she lost over a hundred pounds being on the streets. She was frail and sunburnt,” Newborg said.

Newborg said that during his and Lee’s conversations with Carol Ann, she expressed that she missed her mother and believed she may have traveled back to Oregon. Carol Ann provided the officers with Tina’s name, and they set about finding her.

“We were able to find a match and we contacted the Portland Police Department who did a doorknock for us and was able to contact the mom,” Newborg said.

The Portland officers provided Lee and Newborg with Tina’s phone number. Newborg said he sent a photo along with a text message stating that he and Lee had found Carol Ann, and immediately received a call back.

“I got a call back not only with Tina on the phone, but with other family members who were crying in rejoice,” Newborg said. “I came back to Carol Ann, put the phone on speaker and handed it to her, and it was the first time we saw a complete change in her eyes and attitude.”

The day after the call, the officers took steps to get Carol Ann back to her family in Oregon.

“We took her to get a shower, we took her to Goodwill to get new clothing, we took her to breakfast. A community member who owns a hair salon actually gave her a complete makeover and made her look like a completely different person,” Newborg said.

Newborg said he and Lee contacted Burbank Airport and made special arrangements to get Carol Ann on a plane to Oregon, and within two days, she was reunited with her mother.

“It goes to show that, no matter who you are, everyone is important to somebody,” Newborg said.

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