Homelessness is a hard reality to deal with. There are many reasons why someone might find themselves without a place to lay their head. Mental illness, financial struggles, addiction — these are just a few of the contributing factors that might lead someone down this road.
One car dealer in Louisiana understood this, and tried to help when he encountered a man in need.
Alcide Dominique was ready to start his day as he always does, by getting to his office, Dominique Auto Sales, and setting up for business. This day, however, something unexpected was waiting for him.
Alcide found a man sleeping on his wooden porch, covered by a sheet. Instead of freaking out and kicking the man off his property, Alcide decided to get to know this stranger and see how he could help.
The man introduced himself as Jamie, and explained that he used to live with his grandparents, who took care of him. They had recently passed away, and Jamie found himself on the streets, fending for himself.
Alcide called up one of his employees, Sean, and they got Jamie a hot meal and started to make a plan. They decided to head to Walmart and stock up on essentials for Jamie.
They took it one step further and paid for a night at a motel so that their new friend could sleep comfortably and safely for a while.
“All we were doing was just being a friend and getting him something to eat and getting him a room. That’s all that we were planning on doing,” Alcide said.
Sean and Alcide shared the experience on TikTok, where it went viral with over 2 million likes. Strangers from across the globe started reaching out, asking how they could help Jamie get settled and safe.
Sean and Alcide took donations, receiving everything at the car dealership. They raised thousands of dollars along with clothes and supplies.
“It would be a tragedy for him to end up being on the streets again a year from now. So our goal is to work with him and take the time that we need to find him some rent-reduced apartments, perhaps a part-time job, transportation [like] a bicycle or a car,” Alcide said.
Alcide and Sean’s simple act of kindness had a domino effect that changed Jamie’s life forever. Alcide was inspired and encouraged by the events, and he offered these words of wisdom:
“You have to ask yourself what’s important in life. [Is it] getting off work at five o’clock and going home to watch TV, or [is it] getting off work at five o’clock to go check on somebody and see if they’re OK?”
Check on your neighbors. You never know how far a simple act of kindness you perform can go.
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