Michael Myers has spent years panhandling for money to pay for his breakfast, lunch, and dinner – but now, thanks to a compassionate police officer, he may finally be on his way to getting off the streets and getting a job of his own.
In the past, Deputy Jacob Swalwell of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department had told the homeless man dozens of times that panhandling was illegal. Then, upon seeing him panhandling again in early November, Swalwell pulled his cruiser over and was fully prepared to write Myers a citation.
As Swalwell and Myers began to talk, however, the homeless 67-year-old explained why he was panhandling in the first place.
“When Swalwell asked Michael for his identification, he said he did not have one. This is often an excuse we hear from people who have warrants or are lying about their name,” said the police department on Facebook.
“[But] when people are truthful and sincere, we often take notice. That’s what Swalwell felt when he began to talk to Michael.”
In order to get approved for a Californian identification, Myers had to bring two government-issued forms of identification or residency to the DMV. But since his lack of ID was the reason why he was applying at the DMV in the first place, Myers had always been unable to get the documentation that he needed for a job or bank account.
“Michael had completely given up on the system and given up on applying for an ID,” said the police department. “Deputy Swalwell told Michael he would help him get an ID card and Michael agreed. Little did they both realize that a simple idea would become a frustrating nightmare.”
Thankfully, after weeks of maneuvering bureaucratic red tape, Swalwell was able to use a copy of Myers’s birth certificate, a letter from the police department, and written recommendation from a local church to get him an ID.
Myers, who had never even seen his birth certificate, was also astounded to discover that his birth name was Gordon.
Next, Swalwell plans on helping Myers get senior citizen benefits and a part-time job.
“He wants to work and get off the street. All he needed was a hand up and not a hand out,” said the department. “Imagine how many others like Michael just need a tiny bit of help, someone to care, and take notice.”
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Reprint (Photo by Alameda County Sheriff’s Department)