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Stranger Walks by Homeless Man Living on a Bus Bench - Notices a Crucial Detail Others Missed
Stranger Helps Blind Homeless Man Down on His Luck Get back on His Feet
Uplifting News

Stranger Walks by Homeless Man Living on a Bus Bench - Notices a Crucial Detail Others Missed

Sometimes, all people need is a chance.

Life is full of ups and downs, and unfortunately, some people experience harder lows than others. Some people go through truly dark times and they need to rely on the kindness and empathy of others to get them through.

That was definitely the case for one homeless man in Florida, whom everyone passed by. Everyone, that is, except for a man who took the time to look.

An Important Detail

man sitting on a bus bench

It all started when a Fort Lauderdale, Florida resident named David Beaulieu saw something that stuck out to him during one of his morning walks. He had noticed a homeless man living on a bus bench, but it wasn’t just the fact that Kenny Corbin was homeless that caught his attention. After all, he’d seen the man before.

“I’ve noticed Kenny sleeping on the cement bench here, and one day I saw his mobility stick,” Beaulieu told a local news outlet. “He was holding it and actually praying. I said, 'Wow, this is crazy. This guy is blind and he’s homeless.'”

Beaulieu couldn’t stop thinking about Corbin and the mysterious circumstances that brought him to that bench, so he struck up a conversation with him. It turned out that Corbin had been counting steps to get to the nearby gas station, where he would eat and use the bathroom. He also used the shower at a nearby beach.

“I started talking to him and got his story, and I’m like, 'Wow, how does this guy hold up night by night?'” Beaulieu added.

A Hard Turn in Life

The more Beaulieu learned about Corbin, the more he knew he needed to help. Before he landed on that bench, Corbin had driven a semi for 35 years. He’d also always done mechanic work, but two years ago, on Christmas Eve, he was working on a van when something tragic happened.

“Some kind of powder went into my eye, and it melted my corneas,” he revealed. The people he trusted cleaned him out, and he lost not only his vision but his home and most of his possessions, too.

“All I have is two bags,” he continued. “A backpack and a bag. That’s it.”

Once he hit the streets, Corbin had nowhere to go. A county homeless outreach found him and dropped him off at the Salvation Army, but they didn’t have a bed or a referral, so Corbin said they couldn’t help him. He packed up his stuff and left.

“Someone stole two of my blankets, I’m freezing. Someone stole some of my clothes,” he said.

“We tend to ignore the homeless,” Beaulieu added. “A lot of drugs and alcoholism, but that is not the case with Kenny. He’s a completely different story.”

Finding New Independence

Beaulieu stopping to chat with Corbin that day was life-changing. He wanted to help and gave the man warm blankets and some money for food. He also started a crowd-sourcing campaign to raise money for Corbin to get mobility training so that he could live on his own. However, it didn’t take off, so Beaulieu reached out to news outlets for help.

“[Now] I’m at the Salvation Army in a transitional housing program,” Corbin revealed, saying it’s a “million times” better than the park bench. “It’s nice, it’s warm, it’s dry. I don’t get wet when it rains.”

Corbin now has a caseworker and has applied for a few apartments through Catholic Services. He’s waiting for a portal to open to apply for Section 8 housing, in which tenants pay roughly 30 percent of their income for rent. His caseworker is also putting him in for long-term care through Social Security.

“Without [the news story] and David I’d still be sitting on the bus bench on 17th Street,” he added.

As for how Corbin made him feel that day he stopped to help? “It just shows me someone actually cares.”

Extending Compassion

Corbin is an example of how someone’s life can change in an instant and how important it is to take the time to get to know a person before judging their circumstances. No one ever really knows what someone else is going through or how they may be struggling, and this story reminds us of how far a little kindness can go.

Stop and ask questions. Try not to lead with prejudice, but ask yourself what someone else may be going through before you make decisions. And when it comes to your existing relationships, always try to extend grace. Everyone goes through stuff, but it’s having people we can rely on that helps us to eventually pull through.

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