Richard Schrock has lived a life of homelessness since March. He lost his home being unable to pay for his utilities or rent. The struggle of being homeless and hungry caused him to lose 40 pounds this year.
“He has no vehicle, no phone service and back issues,” said Chris Sperry, executive director of the HOPE Center of Edmond. “He says due to all of this, it is hard for him to find work. He can’t keep clean very well either. He says he uses baby wipes to do this.
“He has been giving plasma just to get some money.”
Schrock learned about the HOPE Center last summer at the local free service, Breakfast on Boulevard.
HOPE Center helped him with food, clothing, and an eye glasses referral. The staff helped him a lot, he said.
“They were wonderful and have been a blessing,” Schrock said.
About a third of HOPE Center’s ability to offer temporary emergency service to Edmond residents comes from its annual Samaritan Fund Drive, sponsored for 30 years by The Edmond Sun. Today marks the third of a series of stories in support of HOPE Center. The fundraising goal is $150,000 this year.
Edmond food and clothing closet depends on the compassion of donors and volunteers that give so that others have shelter, live in dignity, and endure.
Cold rain falling on his back and freezing days and nights are hard on him, Schrock said. His sleeping back gets wet.
“They take forever to dry,” he continued.
An early morning rise is his time to warm up with a free senior coffee, compliments of the Whataburger restaurant.
Having a tarp helped him to sleep better for a short time. But someone stole one of his few possessions. Schrock has lost his birth certificate, license, college diploma, and other items people need to get ahead, because he had no means to pay for their storage. Schrock said that he can barely see. He trips over things at night and can’t go very far on his bike without fearing an accident.
“He says the glasses referral we have given him will help him greatly,” Sperry said.
He is widowed. His wife Averill passed away in 1992. He has been alone ever since. The couple never had children because is wife was handicapped and having a child could have killed her. He sometimes regrets moving to Edmond in 1993 because he hasn’t been able to go put flowers on her grave since then.
His mother and father are divorced and his father lives in Edmond with dementia, Sperry said. Schrock’s mother lives by herself in Perry with fibromyalgia, she added.
“Richard hasn’t seen his dad in about six months and his mother in three years,” Sperry said. “He also has a sister he has not seen in a while. He wishes to have a relationship with his parents but has no vehicle or telephone service to do so.”
Knowing he will begin receiving income from Social Security, hopefully, June helps him to endure, Schrock said.
HOPE Center is a reason to feel grateful in life, he said.
HOPE Center, 1251 N. Broadway in suite A, is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 a.m. to noon. Donation hours are Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. HOPE Center will close from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3.
The warehouse will be open for donations on Dec. 23, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31; and Jan. 2, 3, 4.
To learn more about HOPE Center, 1251 N. Broadway, visit www.hopecenterofedmond.com or call 405-348-1340.