Dover Area Church Shelters Obese Man Seeking Home - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Area Church Shelters Obese Man Seeking Home

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KENT COUNTY, Del. -- A homeless man sheltered at a Dover-area church who says he weighs more than 600 pounds wants to find a new home, but is having difficulty locating a facility that can accommodate him.

Richard Harmon, 25, said he has been sheltered at Victory Church for roughly four months and has been unsuccessful in finding a nursing home or facility because of his weight. He said he needs to begin some dietary strategy, but can't do it without the proper support.

"Basically, [I'm looking for] some place that can take me in and start me on a plan," he said.

Pastor Aaron Appling of Victory Church said they don't plan on Harmon out of the church, but they hope to find him a new home soon so he can get the care he needs.

"He really needs medical help, all the way around so we're stuck doing things that a nurse would be doing or a doctor would be doing in the sense of cleaning up and helping him with daily functions," he said.

Appling's mother, Sandra, has been bringing Harmon to the few medical appointments he can get. She said she's helped him get signed up for long-term Medicaid, but the search for a local facility has been fruitless.

"Three hundred to 400 pounds and over, they say they don't have the facility," she said.

Harmon said his most previous employment was at Purdue, but his health made him unable to retain the job. He currently collects a meager stipend from the state for general assistance, though he is trying to get on disability.

Aaron Appling said the situation is difficult because Harmon needs immediate care but has nowhere else to go.

"It's been hard from a perspective of wondering if we're gonna come back and we're gonna find him dead because he stopped breathing," he said.

Harmon said he's trying to stay positive, despite the challenges he faces. He conceded he made mistakes in his life and his eating habits weren't always positive, even before he began taking the medications that he associates with the weight gain.

"I'm ready to go, to get this under way," he said. "I'm just a little worried that...It's been a while. This Delaware process has been slow."

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