The world may be totally upside down for most people, in dealing with the pandemic, but it's beginning to look a lot better to Tim Meamber.
Homeless for four years, the former University of Washington and NFL linebacker moved into a rental home in Arlington, Washington, last week aided by charitable funds largely raised by Husky football fans.
"It's been so long since I've been in a house," said Meamber, who lived in his 2006 blue Ford van for much of that time with his dog Mona. "It feels good."
A one-time Orange Bowl co-captain and an All-Pac-10 selection, Meamber ended up homeless after his football career ended and he became addicted to drugs and fell into a sordid existence.
He frequented drug houses, had people threaten to harm him and overdosed to the point he nearly died on a couple of occasions.
Meamber ended up in Arlington, about 40 miles north of Seattle, because he could exist there, parking and sleeping in freeway rest stops or mall parking lots.
He frequented food banks for meals. He took showers at local truck stops or bathed in the nearby Stillaguamish River. He existed primarily on a disability check.
Meamber suffers from Parkinson's disease and suspects he has issues related to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a debilitating condition caused by football head injuries. Often his speech became almost indecipherable.
After a series of stories on Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated made his situation public, fans and friends created two GoFundMe accounts.
Meamber used the money raised from these good samaritans to put down rental payments on a rural home that sits on nine acres outside of Arlington.
After a cold and difficult winter spent living in his truck, the former football player looks and sounds decidedly healthier as he gladly self-quarantines in his new residence.
In the video, Meamber thanks the people who helped him improve his untethered living situation. He now feels motivated to help others who have nowhere to live, offering his assistance and advice.
"I have a PhD in homelessness," he said.