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Community helps man devoted to keeping park clean

Posted at 12:10 AM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 08:12:57-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Community members in the Pacific Beach neighborhood are hoping to help lift-up a man on the verge of homelessness after he's devoted much of his time cleaning a neighborhood park.

Many families who frequent Fanuel Park know 53-year-old Matthew Israel Christian, who started coming to the park when he was homeless years ago.

"I was at the park one day trying to find work, but I saw that the park was kind of dusty looking and so I went over to the dollar store, bought a broom and started sweeping," Matthew said.

From there, it snowballed into something special.

"This is really what I looked forward to every morning when I was homeless," he said. "Here every day is where people recognize, 'this guy's doing a good job. He's helping keep the park clean.'

About three years ago, Matthew met someone through his deeds at the park, who gave him a place to stay. Though he has a place to sleep at night now, he continues to come to the park a few times a week to keep it clean.

Last week, the community started a GoFundMe page for Matthew. The organizers say Matthew has a condition that makes it hard to keep a full-time job. They hope the money raised will help him move to a new home of his own, but also help pay for more equipment so Matthew can keep cleaning the park.

"I'm blessed, its privilege honor to volunteer," he said.