People Stepping Up to Help Motorists Stuck Living Out of Car

A homeless man and a good samaritan named Erik Salas showed up at our Kiii-TV studios Friday morning asking for help.

Salas said he was trying to help the homeless man and his friend get their car repaired, but the spot they picked to park in until the car was fixed apparently upset a neighbor. That neighbor called police and demanded the car and the people be removed.

The repairs were supposed to be completed by Monday. All they wanted was a little time to stay put while that happened.

"I got the heads rebuilt," said Paul Long, who has been stranded in his car. "I'm putting it back together and I'm going to get the car running and we're going to be okay."

Long and Connie Rainer have been living in their car while repairs are being made to the engine. It's been parked behind the Munro Ballet Studios in the 5600 block of Everhart since last weekend. Salas is helping the two people get the car fixed, but an angry neighbor threatened to have them removed from the property before they are able to get the repairs made.

"The main thing is finding a place so they can stay for four or five days, so they can just work on the engine, you know? Just anywhere," Salas said. "That's the main goal. Finding a location where no one will run them out."

Salas said he helped with the cost of the repairs and actually towed them from one place to another so they might be able to continue to live out of their car. He said he hoped someone could help him, Long and Rainer find a place to stay so they wouldn't have to keep doing that.

3News contacted a Corpus Christi Police Department commander about the situation, and he sent a CCPD captain to go out and speak with Salas and the two stranded motorists about help that was available.

The whole ordeal was finally resolved when 3News visited the Builders Association to work on another story later in the day. There, Executive Officer Kim Jacobs and President Mark Garza both said they would be happy to step up and put them up in a hotel until the car repairs are completed Monday, and that's exactly what happened late Friday afternoon.


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