David Ross, affectionately known to downtown homeless people and their advocates as “Water Man Dave” for his years of helping the poor to quench their thirst, has died. He was 83.Living on Social Security and at times facing physical threats, Ross devoted the past two decades to helping the homeless, often bringing them bottles of water.His legacy is greater than his name implies, however. His lawsuit against the a police practice of discarding homeless possessions led to a change in the procedure and the creation of the city’s first storage center for homeless people.Known as gregarious and quick with a joke, the retired car salesman told The San Diego Union-Tribune last year that he got his nickname about 18 years earlier. He said he was leaving St. Vincent de Paul’s homeless assistance complex, where he was a volunteer, when he saw a woman under a bridge, shivering on a cold and rainy day.He pulled over and offered her a blanket, but she asked for water instead.“Then it dawned on me,” he said. “These people are thirsty. Can you imagine a need any more basic than water? There’s no water fountains down here. My God, they need water.”He went to a… Read full this story
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