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Detective helps homeless man make the most of his last days

Posted at 2:16 PM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 16:16:41-04

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    Lawrenceville, GA (WGCL ) — A detective tells CBS46 that a little care goes a long way. She says it’s why she got into law enforcement, to change lives.

It’s a heartfelt story, a story Detective Dena Pauly hopes reminds us all to show compassion before judgment.

“He struggled his entire life it was a hard life,” Det. Dena Pauly of a homeless man named Mr. Bob.

Detective Pauly first met Mr. Bob about two and a half years ago. She was on patrol when he flagged her down.

“He couldn’t speak. I took out a pen and paper and asked him what he needed and he just scribbled,” Pauly explained.

Somehow a bond developed. Pauly began checking on Mr. Bob on her daily patrols. One day a call came in on the radio in regards to Mr. Bob causing a scene at a local pawn shop. Pauly said she arrived and calmed the situation. She offered to drive Mr. Bob home.

“When he opened the door it was quite a shock. When I say inches of trash on the floor you couldn’t see any part of his floor throughout the entire apartment,” Pauly said.

She later learned Mr. Bob had no family. He was alone and had been homeless since the age of 14.

Pauly decided she had to help turn things around.

“Once the trash was cleaned out I recruited some of my friends and we got on our dirty clothes and gloves and just started scrubbing floors and bathrooms,” said Pauly to CBS46 Reporter Trason Bragg.

She taught him how to take care of himself. Paid for monthly hair cuts and manicures. Even found him a few friends. Then out of nowhere Mr. Bob’s health took a turn for the worst this past March.

“Due to the fact that Bob cannot communicate and to the fact that Bob has no family, the hospital is very limited in what they can do because no one can consent to testing,” Pauly said.

So Pauly stepped up again. She fought to gain power of attorney for Mr. Bobs medical treatment. She won several weeks ago, but was too late. Ailments had damaged his lungs to the point of no return.

On Monday July 15, the decision was made to put Mr. Bob in hospice care.

“Well um yesterday (July 17) at 4:20 p.m. Bob passed away. He made it one day in hospice,” Pauly explained.

Though visibly shaken by is death, Pauly says she believes Mr. Bob is finally in a better place.

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