Fullerton homeless liaison officer comes to the aid of widow abandoned by her friends


Whoever Susan Garber’s so-called “friends” are in Orange County, they definitely are giving any enemies she may have a run for their money.

In March, the Arizona woman’s husband died unexpectedly.

Garber, who is 64, has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.

She desperately needed help.

Some “friends” in Orange County told her to come out and they would take care of her and let her stay with them, but they abandoned her, according to Fullerton PD Officer Cary Tong, who heard Garber’s story Sunday afternoon when he met her at a church.

Garber arrived in O.C. on March 8 but ended up on the street, thanks to her uncaring friends, Tong said.

Luckily, Garber found shelter at the Army National Guard Armory in Santa Ana.

On “dark nights” when members of the Army National Guard need to use the facility, those staying at the armory have to find shelter elsewhere.

That’s where EvFree Fullerton (First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton) comes in.

Tong was working overtime at the church Sunday, April 3, when he met Garber and heard her story.

“I started calling around to see what services were available to help her, but it was Sunday, so many were closed,” said Tong, one of four officers on the FPD’s Homeless Liaison Unit.

Tong persisted, making calls late into Sunday night past midnight until he found a board-and-care facility in Anaheim that agreed to take Garber in.

“She was ecstatic,” Tong said.

As for Tong, the cop said he was just doing his job.

“It’s always nice when something turns out right,” Tong said.