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


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."

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.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 6.56.30 PM

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for central MN, part of Twin Cities

A line of storms is making its way across the state.

Flickr - Enbridge Line 3 Palisade - Lorie Shaull

DNR orders Enbridge to pay $3.32M over Line 3 environmental violations

The pipeline company breached a groundwater aquifer, causing water to flow uncontrolled into a trench.

Eric Kendricks

Eric Kendricks misses practice, lands on injury report

The star linebacker headlines a lengthy list ahead of Week 2.

WIkimedia commons covid vaccine moderna

3 Twin Cities counties reach 16+ vaccination rate of 80%

More than 8 in 10 residents of that age group have gotten at least one dose.

Flickr - Burlington store exterior -

New Burlington location opens in Minneapolis Friday

To celebrate, the company is donating $50K to a neighborhood group and nearby school.

Top Ten Liquors Minnetonka rendering

Top Ten Liquors plans another Twin Cities location

The high-end wine bar and grocery space would take over a former Champps.

London Michael Bean go fund me

Teen charged with fatal shooting of 12-year-old London Bean

A warrant has been issued for the 18-year-old's arrest.

Minnesota Wild

Wild announce national TV broadcast schedule

The Wild will have 13 games nationally televised this season

suni lee

St. Paul's Suni Lee named to Time's list of 100 Most Influential People

Lee won three medals at the Tokyo Olympics, including an all-around gold.

Dunn County WI homicide suspect

1 arrested in quadruple killing, with 'armed and dangerous' suspect at large

The four victims were found in an abandoned SUV in rural Wisconsin.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Rape, incest suspect from Indiana is caught in St. Cloud

The 40-year-old was found in an apartment building.

Rep Tim Miller mn leg

MN rep calls upholding of TX abortion law 'great news for America'

Rep. Tim Miller also outlined a new abortion-related bill he plans to introduce.


Cole Leon Venables - edit

Charges: Impaired pizza delivery driver fatally hit woman in Hopkins

The woman who was killed was walking down the sidewalk when she was hit and killed.