Recently, two patrons of Rachel’s Restaurant noticed an elderly man sleeping in his 1994 Ford Ranger pickup, it was soon discovered, Pat Fleming, a military veteran was homeless.
Josh Kelly and Abbie Litherland-Nash sprang into action to give this man the dignity he deserved. With Fleming’s needs being too much for two people, word soon spread of the situation, and once again the Elsberry community was stepping up to the plate.
Fleming lost his wife in 2013 and since then has felt his life spiraling out of control. After spending years living in Bellflower, he transitioned to the St. Louis area and most recently the Elsberry area. Working from job to job and sleeping from couch to couch he really didn’t have a place to call home. To top off his entire situation he found out he has stage-4 cancer which is in his lungs and lymph nodes. At this time he is on a two week layoff period from his chemo and radiation treatments.
Restaurant owner, Rachel Chambers, provided food for Fleming, and even included some V-8 so that he got the nourishment he needed after treatments. Elsberry Motel and Lodge, which is owned by God’s House Ministries, provided Fleming a temporary place to live until long-term housing is found. Fleming is slated to be provided an apartment in Old Monroe at the Senior Citizen housing but a definite date is not known.
“I am overwhelmed with the generosity of so many people and I truly appreciate everything that has been done for me,” Fleming said.
As for Kelly and Litherland-Nash they too are overwhelmed.
“It makes me want to cry knowing how close our community is and how they have come together to help him,” said Litherland-Nash.
Donations of food, clothing and toiletries have piled in. The only thing Fleming needs right now is monetary donations for housing until his permanent place is available. If you would like to donate to Fleming there is a Facebook site titled “Operation Patrick”.