The Marine, the Homeless Camp and Downtown Dan
Andrew Hawkins (USMC) visits at Rogue Retreat’s Homeless Camp and meets up with Downtown Dan Doty
Andrew Hawkins graduated from Phoenix High School in 2022. He played offensive lineman, linebacker, and defensive line for the Phoenix Pirates. Andrea served his last season as a team captain for the Pirates. After high school, Andrew joined the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and served in a couple leadership roles during boot-camp. Now a graduate from boot camp and full-fledged Marine, Andrew is back in Phoenix, Oregon for a short time in February, to visit his family. After that he will be on to his first
assignment with the USMC.
When Andrew got back to the Rogue Valley, he saw a story in Jackson County Scanner Group about “Downtown Dan” Doty getting a forever home. Dan is well known in the Medford, Oregon area for walking around town, always ready for a conversation and sometimes a little panhandling :-). Downtown Dan Doty, now 64 years old. He was raised in Medford and went to Medford schools. Dan tells us he played football for the “Old South Medford High School.” Dan suffers from various diagnosed issues and was given a permanent home in a local retirement facility near Rogue Regional Hospital.
Read more below the video, with more photos after the rest of the story.
Marine Hawkins had met Dan a couple times in the past, and wanted to meet up to congratulate Dan on his new home. Addison, from Rogue Retreat’s staff, put Andrew in touch with Alexandria Spray, the manager of Rogue Retreat’s Medford homeless camps, to arrange a meeting with Dan.
On Friday, February 3, 2023, that meeting became a reality. Andrew showed up to Rogue Retreat’s “Camp One” in his USMC dress uniform. Alexandria “Alex” Spray, the Camp Manager shared some details about what Rogue Retreat does, and their love for Downtown Dan. The camp, which serves our community with a safe location for tents and small structures, is where Dan was living before he was given a home.
Alex and Brandon Biswell, another staff member at Rogue Retreat, have been helping Dan by giving him rides during his move and to shop with his newfound resources. What resources you ask? Alex had started a GoFundMe account to help Dan get what he needs to furnish his apartment and by food to eat at home. The effort was widely published on Facebook, including Rogue Retreat’s page and Jackson County Scanner Group, resulting in $9054.00 in donations at the time this article was published. Rogue Retreat will help Dan manage the money wisely.
Marine Andrew Hawkins brought Dan some fresh new clothing and brought the camp a stack of 15 pizzas in Dan’s honor. He got to speak with Dan, the camp management and some of the residents. We discussion why he wanted to do this for Dan and the camp, he discussed serving his community and bringing hope to Dan and other camp residents. Andrew also mentioned representing the USMC well and his love for his community. For the full interview, watch the video on this page! Andrew Hawkins heads back to full duty later in February.
After that, Dan needed a ride back to his camp, with a box of stuff Andrew and others donated for him. I volunteered and got to have a great chat with Dan. He was willing to yet me bring his stuff upstairs with him and film a hello to the people that supported him, right in the kitchen of his new home (see video).
It’s was great to see Andrew, a natural born leader, that cares about his country and community, make it home for a while. It was also wonderful to see the care Alex, Brandon, Addison and other staff members care in operating the Rogue Retreat Homeless Camps. Seeing Dan in his own home, and getting so much attention was a special experience.
by Ryan Mallory
Southern Oregon Grapevine News
Jackson County Scanner Group
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