Fundraiser started to help Toledo homeless man

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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Crystal Searcy and her family travel down Alexis road almost on a daily basis.

During one such drive, someone caught her eye in the dark lot of a now closed car wash.

"I finally stopped after passing him for a month," Searcy said.

It was then, that she met Mark, a local homeless man who had been sleeping in one of the empty bays.

"He was sleeping on a cardboard box on the ground. His pillow was a grocery bag with a cloth or something in it," she said.

After weeks and then months of bringing him food and clothes, Crystal decided that the brief motel stays, trips to the homeless shelter and the occasional monetary gifts weren't good enough. She wanted to get the 63-year-old off the streets for good.

"He was just a sweet old man. Just the sweetest person you could meet," Searcy told 13abc.

But she says he has his share of struggles, both physically and mentally. That's why she's started a fundraiser for seed money for an apartment and eventually treatment.

"He doesn't need 24/7 care but he definitely needs a caretaker," Searcy said.

Her request though has been met with hesitation after a recent scam.

Just a few months ago, a New Jersey couple and homeless man scammed generous donors out of $400,000. All money that has since been returned.

Searcy says she understands people have questions and insists she's doing this for all the right reasons.

Some also argue that you can't help people who don't want the help, but she still refuses to give up.

"It's just something I do out of kindness," she said.

Right now, Mark has a temporary warm bed, courtesy of Searcy's family. Soon, they hope to give him one of his own.

You can help the cause by donating through theGoFundMe page that has been set up specifically for Mark.