Former Detroit police chaplain loses everything in house fire, burglary

- "You have to love the Lord and have a compassion for people," said Tia Davis. "I have always had a compassion for people."  

Tia Davis has led a life of service as a social worker, school teacher and volunteering 18 years as a Detroit police chaplain. The 66-year-old is use to giving, helping and being there for people during their most difficult times.

FOX 2 interviewed her back in 2014 when she consoled a family, whose child was accidentally run over by a relative.

She would often open her home to the homeless.

 "When I see them I give them a few dollars and I would just talk to them," she said. "So they could better their lives. When they didn't have a place to stay, I would say I have room, I always make it a point to have a food pantry and if someone didn't have anything, they could always come by."

Tia would help people get back on their feet. Now sadly she needs the same.

Last August an electrical fire swept through her Detroit home on Holcomb Street.

"I started choking, I said Lord if this is my time I can't go out like this," Davis said. "I kept saying I am not going to die; I know my faith in God is very strong."

Detroit firefighters rescued her from her bedroom window. Tia would spend the next week in the hospital and the next six months living in a hotel. 

During that time, she suffered another setback - vandals would ransack he home and steal her valuables including her furniture, computer, jewelry and even her winter clothing.  

"I was crying out for help," she said.

Some fellow chaplains and homeless she helped in the past, came to her rescue. They tried to cover her charred home with a fresh coat of paint, making it semi-livable, but the damage of the fire was still there.

Tia doesn't even have a working kitchen. When she turned to organizations, churches and other city programs for some assistance - she was denied.

"I have called 10 places or more, I called every day," she said. "They said you don't have children I can't help you, or this is a bad time of year I can't help you."

Someone started a GoFundMe account for Tia - but so far just one donation. She still volunteers as a chaplain, but is now retired and relies on social security as her only income. But it's just not enough to live let alone - make her home livable.

"I know I am a giver, I give from my heart," she said. "If anybody knows me, people know me, I couldn't get any help anywhere."


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