Neighborhood Rallies Together To Save Beloved Homeless Man, Who Is A Local Legend

John Cruz is a homeless man in the beachside neighborhood of Kailua, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. He doesn’t ask for anything and instead helps others. In his military jacket and waist-length dreadlocks, he often watched over local residents, doled out advice, and even helped oversee whether young people were safe, according to the Daily Mail.

As a fixture in the area, Cruz was often seen walking around the beach town with his walker — he was hit by a car years ago — or sleeping under mango trees, and was thus given the nickname “Mango Man.” Even though he has family nearby, he is said to have chosen his independent lifestyle.

Thought to be in his late sixties and a Vietnam War veteran, he became very ill in late April. So now he is the one in need as he has medical conditions requiring immediate attention. His exact illnesses are not specified for privacy reasons. But locals saw that he got the needed medical attention that the long-suffering man had refused. Residents enlisted the help of Dr. Chad Koyanagi from the Waikiki Health Center, the Honolulu Police and Fire Departments, and the EMS. Cruz was taken to a hospital for treatment, and will be there for an extended stay.

A Facebook page about Cruz even has updates about his condition, as well as kind remembrances people whose lives he touched have written, according to an administrator of the page, Daniela Stolfi-Tow. Since he’s been hospitalized, she stated that “[i]t feels like the energy was just sucked out of the place.” Former Kailua resident DeeDee Gualdarama-Leong shared this story on the page, according to the Huffington Post.

“10th grade. I was talking to a friend and was not looking and [Cruz] grabbed me before a car came and banged the bus stop. Then 11th grade. Some grunts was [sic] harassing me, he told them to get the f*** away from his kids. 12th grade I was crying at the bus stop and he told me life is what u make out of it so think about it before u do bad, the Lord would not like that. I stopped crying and hugged him. I still go by that saying to this day.. thank u Lord for putting John in my life. I am truly blessed to call John my angel.”

The humble “Mango Man” would probably be surprised to see the tributes to him on the Facebook page and to realize how many people’s lives he had touched and how many people were praying that he recovers. Stolfi-Tow stated the following, according to the Huffington Post.

“[H]e took up another post here….He took his post and stood there day in and day out. He watched over everybody in his fatigues all day long. I realized that he was our guard. He watched over us.”

As a tribute, Stofli-Tow, along with other residents, installed a sign near a bus stop showing a man pushing a walker. She said that this meant to let him know the following: “we’re holding your spot when you’re ready to come back.”

In an unrelated but similar story this month, Hillary Barrows, 57, spent eight years teaching English across Europe before returning to Kent, England, in January. She rented private accommodations for a while. Unfortunately, she was unable to find employment and her money ran out. She was offered emergency council accommodation — but only if she gave up her beloved rescued dogs Robbie and Cleo. They were not welcome in the public-supplied housing. So now home has become her 20-year-old Alfa Romeo auto in a 24-hour Asda car park in Canterbury as she attempts to seek other accommodations and employment, according to an article in the Inquisitr.

[Photo Courtesy Facebook]