Homeless woman with ALS, caregiver receiving help from grass roots group

Leanne Suter Image
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Homeless woman with ALS, caregiver receiving help from grass roots group
A grass roots group is working together to help a homeless man and woman, who has ALS and epilepsy, find a permanent home after the couple has been living in a car for five years.

COVINA, Calif. (KABC) -- A couple who has been living in their car for the last five years is being helped by the kindness of strangers.

Terry Ressler and Cici Brown have been struggling to get by. Brown has ALS and epilepsy, and she has lost her ability to speak and eat. Ressler has become her caregiver.

"Once you get to this point it's like five times as hard to get up and it's miserable," Ressler said.

Joe Leal, founder of the Vet Hunters Project, and his team found Ressler and Brown Friday night as they were searching for homeless veterans. The group knew they couldn't turn their backs on the couple.

"Her hospital bed is a Ford Taurus. That's what it is. You have, who I think is a hero, and that's her husband. He takes care of her, he feeds her a laundry list of medications to keep her comfortable," Leal said. "We're finding veterans, but we're finding also a senior population, disabled population. Some of them are paralyzed and that's unacceptable."

The group is putting the couple in a hotel while they help search for permanent housing and hospice care.

Ressler said they won't go to a shelter because they will not be able to stay together.

"I promised I'd never leave her. Ever. And I won't," Ressler said.

For Brown, there are no words, just a hug and a kiss that can express how she feels.

"I think [the Vet Hunters] are fantastic. I think they're beyond fantastic," Ressler said.

If you want to help Ressler and Brown go to the Vet Hunters Facebook page at facebook.com/thevethuntersproject.