When help finally arrived for Shannon Scott, the then-64-year-old diabetic Vietnam veteran could hardly move. Bound to a wheelchair with a broken femur, he had spent weeks barely existing in a tent under the bridge of a downtown Oakland overpass.
That is until Swords to Plowshares, a veterans’ nonprofit, found him. A concerned resident had called and warned them of Scott’s dire situation. A couple of staff members quickly sprung into action.
“He had no business being out there on the streets. He was on dialysis,” outreach coordinator Dennis Johnson said. “He was near death when we found him. His eyes were yellow and he was in a permanent stupor where he couldn’t put words together; his energy levels were horrific.”
Scott, a tall lanky man whose legs spill out well past the hospital wheelchair’s footrests, spoke quietly and deliberately as he recalled his rescue from the streets two months earlier. He is now safe in the comfort of an Alameda motel where he was temporarily staying courtesy of the nonprofit.