Paul was born and raised in Ohio. His biological dad went to prison when he was just two years old, leaving Paul and his brother to be raised by just his mom until the age of nine. Mom was remarried to a good man named Bob who ended up adopting both Paul and his brother after their biological dad’s parental rights were revoked.
When Paul was 18 he joined the local Cost Guard Auxiliary with his parents where he served until graduating high school in 1990. After graduation he joined the United States Coast Guard. After completing boot camp in Cape May, New Jersey he was transferred to Alameda, California where was stationed for six years. He worked on the Coast Guard Cutter Sherman for three years, followed by his last three years where he was in charge of installing global positioning antennas along the Pacific Coast.
After his discharge from the Coast Guard, Paul moved back home to Ohio where he worked as a private investigator for workman’s comp claims for two years. “I got out of that because it was too boring…sitting in a van all the time watching people, and it just felt creepy to me.” Upon leaving the PI business Paul got into iron working, ultimately owning his own company.
One night, while serving at his friends bar in Ohio, Paul ended up bouncing two guys out. Unbeknownst to him they waited for Paul in the parking lot where they jumped him as he was leaving for home. Once he came to he found his wallet and keys had been taken, and ended up walking back to his apartment. After getting cleaned up he called his friend that owned the bar to look at the footage from the security cameras. “When I walked out the door the first guy hit me in the face with a metal pipe, and then his buddy came from behind the door and punched me in the face a few times with brass knuckles, and knocked out a bunch of my teeth.” The culprits were ultimately arrested, but for Paul it was time for a new beginning. Having seen his three boys through graduation Paul closed his iron shop, purchased an RV, and moved to Washington. “I stayed in Washington for a bit while I was installing the antennas for the Coast Guard, and I loved it; it was beautiful.” Paul traveled between Tacoma, and then to Olympia before landing in Spokane.
Paul found a church home at Mosaic downtown as well as employment at their bike shop. After six months, Paul started his own bike repair business.
In September of 2020 Paul and a friend were hiking in the area of Fish Head Trail. “He broke off to head home, and I continued on the path to head back to Spokane.” Not long after Paul was jumped again; this time by five individuals who would put him in the hospital for the next two months. “I have no idea who they were and they never got caught, but I heard on the news they did the same thing to five other people in that area.”
After multiple reconstructive surgeries Paul was discharged. He and his girlfriend, Amber, had housing with a friend and Paul was able to continue healing. However, another infection began to set in, and Paul found himself back in the hospital. During Paul’s stay in the hospital the friend they were staying with moved other people into the house. “They were heroin addicts, and I knew we couldn’t stay there after that.” Paul also knew he couldn’t return to the streets in his condition so he contacted Jewels Helping Hands to see if they could provide any assistance during his recovery. Jewels was able to take both Paul and Amber in upon Paul’s discharge from the hospital where they are actively looking for permanent housing with the help of the VA.
During our time Paul became very emotional as he talked about how proud he was of his boys. One joined the United States Marine Corps after high school, and went on to serve with the United States Secret Service. One is living on the East Coast and runs a body repair shop, and the other manages a Toyota dealership in Ohio.