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Formerly homeless man thanks couple for helping him get back on his feet

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Portland, OR (KPTV) — Six years ago, Robert Bouder was unemployed, homeless and sleeping in a field when a businessman and his wife offered to help him turn his life around, and he recently returned to thank them in person for all their help. Bouder said he struggled to stay afloat much of his life, but he hit an all-time low in 2009 when he lost his job. “I got laid off, which caused me to lost my apartment. I didn’t know anybody in town. My family was back in California, and I was stranded, sleeping in a field,” Bouder said.

Ron Sloy is a financial planner whose office is directly above the spot where Bouder and several other homeless men were sleeping at the time.

Sloy and his wife, Shantel, offered each man a chance to turn his life around, and Bouder was the only one who accepted the offer. “She helped me put together my resume, she lined up some job interviews, took me out shopping for some interview clothes,” Bouder said.

A week later, Bouder had a full-time job.

“It was never any kind of handout,” Bouder said. “I had to put in the work. I had to make the phone calls, I had to get the interviews. When they wanted me to meet them here at a certain time, I had to be here at that time.”

Several months later, Bouder moved to California to take care of his ailing father. He says things are going well now, and he’s working as a carpenter’s apprentice. “They basically saved my life,” Bouder said. “I honestly don’t know where I would have been if they hadn’t come along.”

Bouder said he and the Sloys talk on the phone regularly, but he plans to visit them in Portland more often.

By KPTV Web Staff