Local Homeless Outreach Groups Remember Beloved Community Member

LUBBOCK, TX - Local homeless outreach groups are mourning the loss of one of their own, who they say died over the weekend, and is believed to be the first homeless death of the year. 
On Monday, the Restoring-Hope Lubbock Facebook page shared that Ramonica Johnson of Lubbock had passed away early Sunday morning. While the exact cause of her death is not clear, one pastor close to her and her husband does believe the bad weather could have played a role and hopes to see the community do more to help Lubbock's homeless population.
"I think it's time we give back to the community, and moments like that we cherish, but moments like this we'll always remember we could have done more," said Pastor Johnny Perez, pastor of Church of the Blessed. "I don't think anything is permanent in life, but we can extend our hand out and help out every once in awhile." 
Perez says he first met Johnson when she and her husband had moved in behind his parking lot. He asked them if there was anything he and the church could do to help the couple, to which they replied they could use help with building a better cart to get around in. Instead, Perez and church members helped him construct a small wooden box home. He shared that Johnson was full of love and laughter and that many of the ladies at the church enjoyed meeting with her as well. He was devastated to hear the news, but following Johnson's death, wants to see more done to help Lubbock's homeless. 

One resource working hard to make themselves available is the Lubbock Police Homeless Outreach Team, who is all too familiar with how drastic change in weather can greatly affect one's living situation. 

"When you have an environment 77 degrees today and probably wind chills of zero and that wreak havoc on your body," said Sgt. Steven Bergen, LPD H.O.T unit. "So, what we've been doing is going around and just telling people prepare this weekend probably going to be some snow ice along those lines and just help them get prepared."

However, regardless of time of year, or weather, Pastor Perez says the issue is one that remains on-going. 

"I don't think anything is permanent in life, but we can extend our hand out and help every once in awhile." 

Restoring Hope-Lubbock posted to their Facebook page asking the community to continue helping folks in Johnson's position to donate blankets to Crest Tires locations around town. From there, they will be delivered to the homeless in Lubbock.

Johnson's family also shared with EverythingLubbock.com that her funeral will be Friday, January 13. One relative said that if anyone would like to help the family with funeral expenses, that they are encouraged to contact Dee Johnson: 806-702-0315.

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