Struggling man saved by pizza woman is improving, fundraising campaign hits $27K

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 (Photo: Angela Nguyen, GoFundMe)

(Photo: Angela Nguyen, GoFundMe)

After being saved by a pizza delivery woman and boosted by the generosity of the community, a struggling elderly man in Ham Lake, Minnesota, is getting back on his feet.

Lee Haase was discovered living on his own in a squalid, 12-foot camper earlier this month by Domino's Pizza driver Angela Nguyen, who learned he had fallen on hard times after his son was killed in a snowmobile accident and his house seriously damaged in a storm.

He had been living on one Meals on Wheels dish a day, and pizza at weekends.

Spurred into action, Nguyen launched a GoFundMe campaign to try and raise enough money to get him into his own house before the winter arrived – and her drive has been a huge success.

It has so far raised more than $27,000 through almost 700 donations, and as a result work will start this weekend to get Lee a permanent place to live.

A local construction company had originally intended to build him a small home, but it has since emerged that his former home is not so badly damaged that it can't be repaired.

It will undergo clean-up and remodeling starting this Saturday, according to an update from Nguyen, who will remove the contents from Lee's camper that are "worth saving."

 The camper in Ham Lake where Lee Haase was living. (Photo: Angela Nguyen, GoFundMe)

The camper in Ham Lake where Lee Haase was living. (Photo: Angela Nguyen, GoFundMe)

In the meantime, Lee has been taken in temporarily by a retired nurse, has been smartened up with the help of a haircut, nail trim, a hot shower and new clothes, and a local physical therapist has been volunteering her time to help him regain his strength.

On Sunday, Nguyen said "Lee had an awesome night. He woke up at 9:30 a.m. Had a cup of hot cocoa and a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins. Now he's watching Nascar."

She told BringMeTheNews that once he's back in his old home, he has a social security income that will help pay for his property taxes, insurance and living costs.

He will also be given what's left of the GoFundMe pot once the work on his house has been paid for, with Nguyen saying there should be some left as many of the supplies are being donated and the contractors are volunteering.

She intends to shut down the GoFundMe account on Oct. 30, so anyone who wants to donate before then should do so here.

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