Dozens of people turned out Saturday to help an area veteran reclaim his home.

Equipped with rakes, brooms, mops and more, volunteers began cleaning George Young’s house.

Young is a 97-year-old World War II veteran in Deridder.

The group at 7 a.m. started moving boxes, papers, dishes and furniture that cluttered Young’s home. The amount inside the house was so massive that, at one point, Young could not move around. He slept in his car for three years.

The group cleaned the inside and revamped the outside for Young.

Saturday’s big clean-up was the result of a simple delivery. Jim Haney brought a battery into Young’s house about two months ago. He was a bit shocked when he walked into the home. “He wasn’t living how he should be living,” Jim said.

Jim’s wife, Kim Haney, said, “We’ve known George for almost 10 years, but we had no idea what was going on in here.”

Since that day, Kim started going to Young’s house every day. “He’s like my grandpa,” she said.

A short Facebook post announcing Saturday’s clean-up and word-of-mouth led to the community’s involvement.

Scott Delome heard about the clean-up and showed up to volunteer. “I wanted to help a fellow person out – give him a hand, get him out of the bind he’s in, extending courtesy that I would hope someone else would show me later in life,” Delome said.

Rebecca Hirsch, another volunteer, also helped in the clean-up. “I wanted to do what I could do to get him back in his house,” Hirsch said.

Young, who’s been in his home since 1948, says he’s grateful to those who came out to help. “I would like to thank each and every one,” Young said. “Thank God for what they’ve done.

“I felt like I had been thrown away. I feel like they took me back home.

“All these people have made me feel like I’m somebody again.”