A video showing a man and his lawnmower cutting grass at Stephen Leonard Park in Merced were sent anonymously to Merced Gateway News. They published the video to see if people might know who it is.
After knocking on many doors and showing the video to numerous residents, YourCentralValley.com found the man mowing the grass in the video.
His name is Michael Duree and he’s one of the homeless people who frequent Leonard Park.
Duree says, “My buddy was going down the street and he had his lawnmower. The grass is pretty tall around the benches here so I asked if I could use it.”
Duree rests in the park during the day, because he says there’s no place in the area he can sleep at night, “Residents here say we’re here too much because we come to the same spot every day but that’s really the only place we’ve got to go.”
Duree says just like the homeless people, some neighbors are good and some are not. He wants to be a good neighbor. He wants a job, too. “Anybody got any work or anything let me know and I’ll do it. I’m not scared to work.”
Duree says, “We try and pick up everything we leave. We try and keep it cleaner than it was when we got there.”