Oregon Woman Died Homeless While State Holds Unclaimed Money

Friends and acquaintances said they didn’t know that Catherine Boone had the money available to her.

Portland, Oregon — Catherine Boon died homeless. Although he inherited a small fortune, he lived on the streets of Astoria. Oregon held over $ 800,000 in unclaimed money when she died in January 2020, 49 years old.

“That didn’t make sense to me. The money was just there and she needed help in the worst possible way,” said Boon’s father, Jack Spithill.

According to her father, Boone was suffering from mental health problems and substance abuse.

“She had a tough life, but when she was fine she was really fine,” explains Spithill.

Boone was a regular at Astoria Warming Shelter. Unlike most visitors who sleep dressed, Boone will make a special effort to put on his pajamas at night, friends explained.

“She was a special person to me,” said Donnie Holder, who often shared cigarettes and coffee with Boone at McDonald’s.

“She was a lover,” said Holder, who carries a photo of Boon, with a tattered ziplock bag in his coat pocket. “I fell in love with her.”

Friends and acquaintances said he didn’t know that Boone had money available to her. She’s like many other people living unprotected lives in harsh outside environments. I had a hard time to survive.

“We have each moment, but most of the time she smiled more than she cried,” said Boone’s friend Glenn Ronkist.

Known to friends as Kathy, Catherine Boone grew up in the Portland region.

Her parents separated when she was young. Her father, who remarried and lives in Texas, tried to stay connected with her daughter.

Boone had a hard time since he was an adult.

“I think it’s almost all due to the drug, but she also has mental health problems and I think the combination of the two didn’t work very well for her,” Spithill explained.

to see: A woman died homeless while Oregon held an unclaimed $ 800,000

Boone moved to Astoria, where his mother lived, after volunteering for several years at the Sisters of the Road Cafe, a non-profit organization in downtown Portland. In 2016, Boone’s mother, Patricia Rapton, died. According to her father, Cathy relapsed due to substance abuse.

“I think she really lost her soul when she wasn’t connected to family and friends and was using drugs,” Spithill explained.

According to court records, after the mother’s death, lawyers and personal representatives responsible for her heritage attempted to locate Boone. They advertised in local newspapers, sent her a message on Facebook, emailed her family, and tried to reach Boone by phone. The private detective hired to find Boone was also empty. became.

In July 2019, a Clatsop County judge ordered that $ 884,407 of heritage assets be sent to the National Land Agency.

According to her father, it’s not clear if Boone knew the money was his own or if she knew how to get it.

“I don’t think she’ll get close to them on her own, but there were enough people who could give her some help,” Spithill said.

Boon’s father regrets that he couldn’t help Kathy. He hopes someone can help Kathy take the first step towards regaining his life. I will.

“I think I couldn’t recognize her mental health problem. I shouldn’t have done it because I gave her up because of the drug,” Spithill said in tears. It was.

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“This sounds like a very tragic story,” said Chris Rosin, Oregon’s guardian and guardian.

Rosin explained that the guardianship system is legally permitted in Oregon only if there is a very serious cognitive impairment and incapacity.

Guardianship is a last resort. It essentially removes the ability of the person to make their own decisions, empowers others, where they live, what medical care they receive, where they go, who they can see, Basically everything else in their life.

Many services are voluntary, including mental health counseling and drug and alcohol treatment. However, in such cases, the person must want treatment for his condition.

“When an individual becomes homeless, daily survival is more important than dealing with the condition,” explains Amy Baker, Executive Director of Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare.

Baker said the criminal justice system could be involved for minor crimes. Healthcare professionals can assist through mental health and substance use disorder treatment courts.

In addition, Baker said Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare has begun hiring people with living experience to outreach for recovery.

Requirements are often more difficult than guardianship standards, but another option may be public involvement through a local behavioral health program.

Ultimately, medical professionals say the hurdles for forcing treatment are very high.

On January 13, 2020, Boone suffered from respiratory distress during his stay in the Astoria Warming Shelter. An ambulance rushed her to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Portland, but she died later.

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During October Oregon Department of Land Management We paid $ 884,000 to the personal representative of Catherine Boon’s Heritage. According to court records, the property is working to identify anyone who may have a claim for money, including her two real children.

The Oregon Department of State and Land Administration, the agency that handles unclaimed money from real estate for which heirs are not found or refuses to pay, is not responsible for finding known heirs. Instead, state agencies simply need to retain funds until the person with the right comes forward.

“Given the year and a half of effort spent by the individual representatives and lawyers of this particular property, there’s nothing more the state can do,” explains Claudia Siobanu, Oregon’s landless real estate manager. did.

Ciobanu said the money was sitting before her death waiting for Boone. She just had to insist on it.

“This is a unique case and we sympathize with our family,” explains Ciobanu.

Friends say Boon’s story helps explain the complex challenge of becoming homeless while suffering from health problems.

“We’re not just stats,” said Boon’s friend Jonathan Cubert. “Good people. It’s just a situation.”

In some cases, even if you have a lot of money, the system may not be able to provide the support you need.

Kathy’s father said, “There must be more and more. It’s more like her.”

Oregon Woman Died Homeless While State Holds Unclaimed Money

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