Jones was fired from his metal-plating job in 1982, after he began to miss work and refused to enter a company-sponsored alcohol rehabilitation program, said Robert Crittendon, director of communications at Beckman's central fabrication facility.
Sanchez said that Jones then worked at a variety of other jobs, but his failing health restricted what he could do.
"Drinking was getting to him," said Sanchez, who often helped Jones out with a few dollars or invited him for dinner. "I used to tell him, 'Ain't nobody gonna come out and hand things to you. You gotta get them yourself.' He realized that. But he didn't want me to be concerned about him."
Stayed at Shelter
In 1983, Jones was one of the first people to stay at the Pomona Valley Council of Churches' new emergency shelter in Pomona. Later, when the church decided to prohibit single men from sleeping there, Jones lived in an assortment of other places, ultimately ending up on the streets.
For the last year, he spent nearly every day on the YMCA steps, where he sometimes would help with the gardening in exchange for a shower.
When Jones died, the other homeless men he used to hang out with on the YMCA steps stopped coming there to hear each others' stories. Others who knew him were shocked and saddened.
Sanchez took up a collection at work and presented Porter Jones with $60.
"In a way I feel glad, because now he's feeling no pain," Sanchez said. "It was just plain miserable for Roy. He was fighting the everyday life. He didn't know what to think or what to do. Just day and night, you know. It's better to see someone at peace."