Linden PBA, FMBA help homeless man see family in North Carolina

LINDEN, N.J. (WABC) -- The Linden PBA and a support group on Facebook have raised money to help a homeless man be reunited with his family in North Carolina.

For the past few years, former Linden resident Clinton Kelley, Sr., age 59, fell on hard times and was living on the streets of downtown Linden.

Now, he's gone from homeless to homeward bound to see his daughter and his grandchildren. Clinton Kelly's life is coming full circle after a support group on Facebook reached out and raised money for his trip back home.

"I missed the birth of my two great grandchildren. You know I missed a lot being homeless," Kelly said.

Kelly spent many of his days on a bench in Linden. Former resident April Stec would often give Kelly food. One day she saw him in bad shape and opened her heart and home to the homeless man.

"It was something I had to do, I was going to reach out to anyone and anyone who would listen," Stec said.

April found help through a Facebook group called "HOPE Helping Other People Everyday" in and with support Kelly began the process of putting his life back together.

"It makes you feel good that you can do the littlest things to help somebody else," said Kristina Martinez, a HOPE volunteer.

"I was actually sad to see him go, but it's very exciting for him and I'm very excited for him at the same time," said Henry Giarnieri, HOPE founder.

Money was raised to help Clinton Kelly return home. The local PBA heard about the fundraiser and since they were familiar with Kelly's plight they decided to give him the extra money he needed to go back to North Carolina.

"This is just one the things that not only the officers in Linden do, but officer all around the the United States, go out and do on a daily basis that go unnoticed," said Police Officer Joseph Birch, Linden PBA President.

"He just had a difficult time. He wanted to do it himself and that's what we did," Stec said.

"These people were a Godsend to me because they truly cared," Kelly said.

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