Community rallies to find war veteran a home
UPDATE: Elderly war veteran Geoffrey Mayers has been handed a last minute reprieve after it was feared he would left homeless today.
Owners of the retirement village unit in which he lives have agreed to allow him to stay until Wednesday next week.
Mr Mayers hopes to then move into Salem Lutheran Rest Home after that facility offered him a place.
Toowoomba businesses and residents rallied to the aid the 84-year-old after The Chronicle revealed he faced an uncertain future.
Toowoomba RSL sub-branch president Lindsay Morrison said his phone had been running hot since news broke of Mr Mayers' situation.
Oxford Crest Toowoomba notified Mr Mayers three months ago that his periodical lease was up as new owners wanted vacant possession of the property.
"It has been just amazing to see the community get behind Mr Mayes and support him. It shows how much we care for our older people," Mr Morrison said.
Salem Lutheran Rest Home service manager Jason Coles said if paperwork was completed and the offer accepted, Mr Mayers could move in as early as Wednesday next week.
"We saw his story in the paper and we have a room currently available and the option to move to permanent residence," he said.
"If the paperwork lines up, we hope to have a smooth transition from his current residence to Salem with his own room.
"Geoffrey would have to take up the offer as well. We don't think he should have to go to a temporary residence."
Mr Mayers said he was "just very tired" and that the move would take all of his energy.
As a frail older man, his mobility and capacity to move is limited.
Mr Morrison took on Mr Mayers case last week and said he was moved by the help that had been received.
"We will look at storing his books and property as well as covering the cost of that if there isn't room for it where he is going," he said.
Oxford Crest Toowoomba Retirement Village manager Russell Fletcher said after conversations with the owners, Mr Mayers would be able to stay in the unit.
"We try and do everything we possibly can for these people; he won't have to leave today."
EARLIER: An 84-year-old veteran is homeless as of today after his one-bedroom unit was sold.
The contents of the unit, filled with a lifetime of books and memorabilia, will go in boxes and on the lawn as Geoffrey Mayers vacates his home.
The Oxford Crest Toowoomba retirement village ended Mr Mayers' tenancy at the request of the new owners.
Toowoomba RSL sub-branch president Lindsay Morrison has stepped in at the 11th hour to help, but has more questions than answers about Mr Mayers' future.
Mr Morrison only just became aware of the situation.
"I wish I had known sooner," he said.
"Apparently he had three months notice to go, but he is frail, sick and is almost completely deaf.
"He has no family here ... his faculties are failing ... I don't know what will happen to him."
Mr Morrison said he believed the Salvation Army would accommodate Mr Mayers for tonight, but that was not a permanent fix.
"Something has to be done for Mr Mayers," he said.
The assessment for a nursing home has happened but it could be a month, six weeks or more before a place is available.
"He needs respect," Mr Morrison said.
"It would have been good if his lease could have held until he was moved to a home."
Mr Mayers said his situation was "in a right old state" at the moment.
"I'm concerned about my privacy and what will happen," he said.
Mr Mayers broke down at the offer of support from the Toowoomba RSL.
Mr Morrison said it became clear shortly after meeting the British war veteran that he did not fully understand what was happening.
"I'm not even sure how we will do this, but we have to do something," Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison, also the welfare officer of the RSL sub-branch, said the situation should never have happened.
Oxford Crest Toowoomba Retirement Village manager Russell Fletcher said Village Life had been under the Oxford Crest management since March.
"I couldn't tell you how long Mr Mayers has been there.
"He was on a fixed-term lease but it was moved to a periodical agreement at some point," he said.
"We're just the agents. We work under the owners' directive and they are more than within their rights to want vacant possession of their property."
Mr Fletcher said he gave more than three months notice after the sale of the property, more than the two required under the Residential Tenancies Authority.
"We don't get involved in the other (welfare) side of it," he said.