When one homeless painter was featured on a news report, it gave his son the first lead he needed in a decades-long search.

There are many reasons why a person may end up on the streets. But that doesn’t mean someone isn’t out there looking for them.

This story of a homeless painter and his son is definitely proof of that.

A Homeless Painter, an Estranged Son and an Inspiring Story

Photo by Ev on Unsplash

Back in Summer 2015, residents in Houston learned more about a homeless man many simply called “The Painter.” According to a KHOU 11 news report at the time, then 60-year-old Rudolph Taylor had formed a friendship with the Houston Police Department. In order to afford supplies, coffee, and the occasional cigar, the self-taught artist made custom pieces for people in the department and others in his community.

There’s definitely nothing wrong with my heart, I just wasn’t able to use it.

Rudolph Taylor

“God gave me vivid imagination,” Taylor explained. “You always want something you lose.”

According to the report, it took a while for Taylor to find peace in his life. The military vet has been homeless for 30 years, after having also served time in prison for the death of his brother. “I have to deal with the bitterness of the loss and the anguish,” he added from his home, an abandoned welding shed that also served as his art studio.

“There’s definitely nothing wrong with my heart, I just wasn’t able to use it,” he added.

Why a Son Was Searching For His Father For 30 Years

Shortly after Taylor was separated from his family, his second son was born. That boy, Kevin Taylor, grew up without ever knowing his father, although they did briefly meet when he was three years old. Then his family moved to Colorado and he didn’t see him again.

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Kevin had been searching for his biological dad since he was eight years old, when he learned his dad was in Houston. He would call and write letters to anyone who had the same last name as him. At one point he found a photo of his father, but that was it. Given how popular the last name “Taylor” is, you can imagine how few responses he actually got to his letters – including the one he sent in hopes of his dad coming to his U.S. Marine Corps graduation.

It was just always something in me to want to know who my father is.

Kevin Taylor

“I got a few return letters over the years, and mostly no response from anybody,” he said.

However, he didn’t give up, which was how he came across the news report featuring The Painter. At that point, it was almost as though he had manifested it. “I was pretty certain it was him,” Kevin said. “It was just always something in me to want to know who my father is.”

How a News Report Helped a Man Find His Biological Father

After Kevin saw the news report on Facebook he immediately reached out to the Houston Police Department and left a message. “I said, ‘I saw a story. And it had Capt. Baimbridge in it, and I believe the man that’s in the video is my father. And, somebody get back to me,’” Kevin recalled.

I’m Kevin, your son.

Kevin Taylor

Capt. Baimbridge did, and a few weeks later he brought Kevin to Rudolph’s shack. The entire reunion was captured by cameras, as both men teared up. “Tell me who you are again,” Rudolph said at one point, just to hear Kevin repeat those words. “I’m Kevin, your son,” he responded.

“Thank you very much,” said Rudolph.

How the Power of Hope Brought a Family Together

Hope can be a powerful thing, even when things seem hopeless. Kevin had so little to go on when it came to the search for his father, but it was through persistence he was finally able to find the biological dad he’d been hoping to meet for all of those years.

For his part, Rudolph also never gave up hope. He’d been through so many hardships in life but always managed to find a way to carry on, and that persistence also allowed him to meet and potentially forge a relationship with his kin for the first time in more than three decades.

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It’s an important reminder to all of us to not give up hope in our own lives. Whether things don’t seem to be going your way or you’re hoping to hear back from a loved one after an extended absence, hope is a powerful thing.

This story also reminds us there’s so much more to a person than meets the eye, and sometimes it’s worth it to dig a little deeper. Had those newscasters not wanted to showcase The Painter’s story, Kevin never would have seen it. It’s a bit of a refresher to try and give people the benefit of the doubt in our own lives because sometimes you just never know what a person’s been through.

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“But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” – Martin Luther King Jr.