Community members rush to help homeless man left at Lynchburg hospital in cold weather

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Community members are lending a helping hand to a 67-year-old man who was left outside in the cold in Lynchburg with no place to go.

Around 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, Larry Mills was released from Lynchburg General Hospital after being checked out for a knee injury. He was spotted leaving the hospital by someone who took to social media to get him help.

Larry Beasley and his wife, Capri Spruce, were the first to help. They say Mills was outside in frigid temperatures wearing only thin clothing.

“It was windy. It was 20 degrees when we got there. They didn’t even release him until 11:45, so nothing was open for us to get him anything,” said Spruce.

They say they couldn’t find a shelter for Mills, so they volunteered to get him a hotel room for the night or take him somewhere else that was safe.

According to Spruce, “I definitely get the policies that shelters have, but we should have had an alternative.”

That ‘somewhere safe’ ended up being the home of Marvin Minor, who says he doesn’t like the way some homeless people are viewed by others.

Minor says he has struggled with homelessness and in fact, he just got back on his feet about a year ago. He adds that taking Mills in was simply the right thing to do.

“It makes me feel like I’m just doing something that I would want somebody to do for me if I was in that position,” said Minor.

The help didn’t stop there. Beasley and Spruce held a donation drive for Mills on Sunday, Jan. 9, collecting new clothes, shoes, and food for him — plus hundreds of dollars to be used for anything else he might need.

“It’s not one person, but it’s all of us,” said Beasley. “And it’s been so heartwarming to see all of these people give.”

According to Mills, who has a hard time speaking, he’s extremely grateful for the support, saying, “It’s awesome, really awesome.”

“We all go through different phases and walks in life, and some people’s walk may be a little more of a struggle, a little bit more than an uphill battle than some,” Minor said. “But at the same time, we’re human.”

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there was a 3 percent rise in homelessness across the Commonwealth between 2019 and 2020.

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