AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — A homeless man is recovering after he tested positive for COVID-19. Doris Count found her brother, Joey Mooney, behind a convenience store near the health district after he was discharged from a local hospital.
Count says she hasn’t seen her brother for about 12 years. She says Joey usually calls her once every year to check-in. This year was a call that she says she didn’t expect. Joey told her that he was in the Burke County Jail for a couple of months and got sick when he was released.
He walked from Burke County to an Augusta hospital to be tested. She says the hospital told her he was postive for COVID-19, and they didn’t have space to keep him, then they discharged him. That’s when Count and other family members began looking for him.
“I didn’t know what to do because I was overwhelmed, but we found him,” said Count. “He was behind the CVS on Walton Way, and that’s the picture you see.”
They then took Joey to a hotel so he can quarantine. Count says she reached out to Compass for Hope to help Joey with his medical expenses. So far, they have raised nearly $3,000.
“She wants this to bigger than Joey,” explained Mike Garrison. “He is not the only person out there. If Joey is going to become the face for change, that’s okay, but it’s not all about him. It’s about all those other people that are out there just like him.”
“It’s not just for him; it’s for all of them,” said Count. “We have to do something.”
Count told NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson that community support has been overwhelming. Right now, they are looking for a permanent place for Joey to live. Once he fully recovers, he will have a job waiting from him at Endzone Bar and Grill.
“They love him already I think anyone has in years, including myself,” said Count. “You just lose touch, and you never imagine this will happen to someone you know.”
Joey’s story has gained so much support within the community. Endzone Bar and Grill is hosting a fundraiser this Saturday to raise awareness to help Joey and others like him.