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Del Mar homeless advocate battling COVID-19 on ventilator

Arthur Salazar.jpg
Posted at 4:21 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 20:22:41-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The sister of a homeless advocate known for handing out Bibles is making a plea to those who haven't gotten vaccinated, as he battles COVID-19 on a ventilator.

Video posted online by Arthur Salazar in August shows him handing out care packages to the homeless, including Bibles, clothing, and food. About a month later, the 55-year-old was found in his Del Mar home by a family member.

His sister, Lora Guillen, says he tested positive for COVID-19 and a day later, on Oct. 1, was rushed to a hospital. Soon after, Salazar, a diabetic, was placed on a ventilator.

“Heart-wrenching for the family to go through. Sleepless nights. You can't eat. You can't focus,” said Guillen.

It's unknown where Salazar contracted COVID-19. He drives a taxi and is also the founder of a Facebook ministry, which drew upon comics to spread the gospel. Several years ago, he also began passing out care packages to the homeless several times every month.

“The homeless just seems to be where his heart is at, to be giving of his time and his talent, and his treasure,” said Guillen.

While Salazar continued his outreach, he declined to be vaccinated, though not for religious reasons.

“Unsure about the effectiveness of the side effects,” said Guillen.

Family members tried to convince him, but he refused to budge.

“Just very upsetting that he didn't want to do it. Now look at where we are,” said Guillen. “Absolutely go out and get vaccinated. Other families can avoid this pain and stress.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the family with medical expenses.