New Bedford Homeless Man’s Funeral Paid for by the Community
You may not know his name, but if you drive by Route 140 and Route 6 each day, you may recognize this man's face. His name is Chris Mydlack, and according to his family, he was homeless. Mydlack panhandled in New Bedford for years, but it wasn't always that way.
His daughter's sister, Ryann Girard, said some SouthCoast people remember Mydlack from his younger days, when he had a natural talent for gymnastics. She said growing up in Fairhaven, Mydlack lost his mother from a disease that took her life too soon. He held his mother in his arms until the paramedics got to her home and pronounced her dead. That is when, according to Girard, Mydlack started to unravel.
The emotional trauma of losing his mom was too much for him and he struggled with mental illness. Mydlack lived on the streets of New Bedford, mostly by Buttonwood Park. He'd ask people at the nearby intersections for money.
Last week, Chris Mydlack died unexpectedly, and his body was found in Buttonwood Park. His daughter Riley has been named his next of kin, and is responsible for his arrangements.
The community has rallied to show support for not only Mydlack, but his daughter. A GoFundMe that was set up to pay for Mydlack's funeral has already surpassed the $5,000 goal, with donations ranging from $50 to $1,000.
"It's just amazing the complete strangers would help out a homeless man like this. We are blown away," said Girard, who now lives in New Hampshire. "I'm shocked, and I appreciate it more than anything. It's really hard for people like me and my sister who work our butts off, day in and day out. Sometimes you don't have extra money set aside. We just couldn't believe it. We were blown away."