Dunwoody police are crediting a Facebook plea for help from the public as the reason they were able to help a disabled woman get off the streets and on board a train home to Washington, D.C.
Since Christmas Day, police in Dunwoody had noticed a woman in a wheelchair around the Perimeter Mall area. She was seen sleeping in her chair near the main mall entrance on Christmas night.
"A few people called because they were afraid she might get hit by a car," said Sgt. Fidel Espinoza. "One of our officers found her asleep near the Perimeter Mall area. It was a pretty chilly night."
Espinoza said the woman, named Dorothy, told them she rode Amtrak down from Washington, D.C., to visit friends in the Atlanta area. Those friends never showed up or met with Dorothy, and her money quickly ran out.
Espinoza said Dorothy has Parkinson's Disease and relies on a disability check to make ends meet. Without any money or a place to go, she effectively became homeless during her stay in the Atlanta area.
"Last few days, she's been on the streets," said Espinoza.
After finding Dorothy again on the street early Sunday morning, Espinoza took her to police headquarters. Upon learning more about her situation, police decided to find a way to get her home. That would require money for a train ticket.
Espinoza decided to ask the public for help via the department's Facebook page. He posted the request Sunday morning.
"My phone started chirping off the hook, so to speak," said Espinoza. "Within just a couple of minutes, we had the $178 Amtrak ticket paid for."
Espinoza said someone also stepped forward to pay for a hotel for Dorothy and get her to the Amtrak station. She was scheduled to leave on the Monday evening train for Washington, D.C.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.