Veterans Affairs, Community Step Up to Help 84-Year-Old Homeless Twins

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ORANGEVALE — In October 2016, two brothers lost their Orangevale home after it foreclosed when payments got too high.

The 84-year-old twins, Clifford and Gary Koekoek, have been living on the streets together with nowhere to turn. But things are looking up for the brothers since their story aired on FOX40 Tuesday evening.

“Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I feel grateful,” Gary Koekoek said.

Not only have multiple homeless advocate organizations and the Veterans Affairs reached out to provide the twin homeless veterans with housing but hundreds of strangers have donated money to a GoFundMe page for the brothers which — as of Friday afternoon — totals nearly $100,000.

“These two gentlemen spent a lot of time out on the street struggling before we were able to make that connection, but we’re glad we were able to make it today,” said Ben Avey with Sacramento Steps Forward.

“It made me proud to be an American citizen, that there are so many good people,” Clifford Koekoek said.

“We were just overwhelmed with the amount of response we’ve gotten,” said family friend Aaron Lee Heorner.

As soon as family friend Hoerner found out about their situation, he made a social media push to help.

“This whole thing started with talking to people and caring about people. I just want people to continue doing that,” Hoerner said.

The care has poured in. So much so, local attorney Mark Drobny has volunteered to open a trust for all the money that’s been donated.

And he’s doing it at no charge.

“This was one of those cases where we decided we could do some good here,” said Estate Planning Attorney Drobny.

The two have shed quite a few tears over the past nine months.

This time around the tears aren’t tears of grief, but of gratitude.

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