Gerald Goins, 84, has been calling a Tempe motel room in home for the last several months. And even though it’s small, he said it was enough room for him and his son Andy who were in town from Ohio.
However, last week, Andy unexpectantly up and left, abandoning his father.
“I went to the doctor’s office. After an hour, two hours, I got a ride to come here and he was gone,” said Goins.
Goins said when he returned to the shared motel room, all that was left was a handwritten note from his son with instructions on how he was to take care of himself.
April Alt manages the Western Lodge Motel where the father and son had been staying. She said she has never seen anything like this happen to one of her guests. “He came into my office just looking bewildered, handed me this note and this EBT card and he didn’t understand what was going on,” said Alt.
“The son was his primary caregiver, took him to all his medical appointments, did all of his food, money, everything. And then on the 8th of September, he left him at the doctor’s office. And when Gerald came of the doctor his son was gone,” said Alt.
Goins is a retired truck driver who has a heart condition and needs help walking around. It was his son Andy’s idea to come to Arizona but that the father has been paying for everything through his retirement, which he doesn’t know how to access.
Gerald is now weeks behind in hotel room payments. Alt said she is doing what she can to try to get him home to his family in Zanesville, Ohio. “It is just so sad, it really is,” said Alt. She has reached out to Adult Protective Services.
Tempe police have been made are aware of Goins circumstance, but their hands are tied because he’s not in immediate danger.
Goins does have his EBT card and has been surviving on whatever food he can purchase at the gas station next door to the motel.
“My funds have been exhausted, my retirement money has been transferred or taken by my son. I have no money left and am trying to get back to my hometown,” he said.
If you’d like to help Goins get back to his family in Ohio, a Go Fund Me page has been set up. You can donate by clicking here.