Homeless veteran finds a home for the holiday

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- 81-year-old Donald Baker is no stranger to rejection.  “I take it as it comes.  It's just part of life,” said Baker, whose long life is filled with some dark memories.

“I was a Korean war veteran, I served on the front lines,” said Baker.  And decades later the Veteran is back in the trenches.  This time Baker's battling homelessness and hunger.

“It's freezing cold in the winter and dirty hot in the summer and hard to eat, hard to find food you know,” said Baker.  It can be hard to find someone who cares, but not this Christmas.

When Carol Bradshaw and Baker met two weeks ago, she was just another stranger.  However, this Christmas eve, Bradshaw is taking the man her family now calls, grandpa Don home.

“I'm taking Don home tonight with me and my husband and take him anywhere he wants to go and come back tomorrow and cook and spend Christmas with Don.  We're his Santa Claus,” said Bradshaw.

There's a fireplace burning on the screen and though no heat comes from the television, this home is plenty warm.
 
“They're heaven sent to me, they have to be,” Baker said. For the first time in a long time, Baker got to drink a cup of hot tea and had a place to hang his new coat for the night.

That coat is an early Christmas present from Bradshaw and her daughter April Beck.

“He obviously had a real sense of desperation when he looked me in the eyes and said I’m starving,”

Not tonight he won’t, grandpa Don is finally at someone's home for holidays.

“It's a good world because people care and that means a lot,” said Baker.

The family said they don’t have much, but they’re willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Baker doesn’t return to the cold streets.