SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A homeless man, who called San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood home for several years and who was critically injured last year in a hit-and-run collision, is finally being allowed to head home to Georgia, with the help of many friends and family.

Selester “Les” Rowe made his home in front of the Citibank branch in North Beach. He always made it a point to say hello and God bless to those passing by.

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Kristie Fairchild is a homeless advocate in the North Beach area and has gotten to know Rowe well over the last few years.

“He was kind of a greeter to you back home and he had his regulars who would watch out for him,” Fairchild said. “He relied on them and they almost relied on him in a way to have a social interaction that they felt was very positive.”

But on May 12, 2012, Rowe was hit by a driver as he was walking across Columbus Avenue in North Beach, suffering major injuries. The suspect and vehicle involved in the incident have still not been found.

“A large amount of people came out. They created a small shrine for him,” Fairchild said.

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Rowe remains at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, after suffering injuries to his spine and brain, and can’t speak.

His sister La’Creaser Rowe had asked for friends and family to help raise money so they could transport him back home to Georgia.

“First we had a fish fry. We had it at a grocery store, a Piggly Wiggly,” she said. “The gentleman let us use his parking lot. We raised more than $2,000 that day.”

Than, former San Francisco 49er James Johnson came to the aid of Rowe’s family. Johnson went to the same high school as Rowe and helped raise enough money so that he could be transported back home in a special Learjet on Thursday, where Rowe will be placed in a special nursing facility.

Rowe’s family calls it a blessing that Les will finally be able to come back home.

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