Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
I have often commented that we have very few success stories from the people we work with out on the street. This is one!
I met Todd several years ago under the 640 bridge. He and I clicked for some reason, and every week he sought me out. Unlike a lot of the people who come down there for a free meal, he worked. He often came in his work clothes. I do know that one place he worked was at the University of Tennessee in maintenance. He also worked some in construction. I don't know for sure, but I suspect he got the construction jobs by standing outside Home Depot or Lowes and waiting for contractors to hire him.
(Notice I said he was standing outside a lumber company waiting to be hired...not on the street corner at a red light with his hand out.)
I hadn't seen Todd in awhile....over a year at least. This past Wednesday night, he came up to me all smiles! After hugging me, he said, "I have something to show you!" He pulled out his wallet and showed me his driver's license! Then he said "I also bought a car!", and he pointed it out sitting across the lot where we serve food.
I asked if he still had his apartment (the last time I saw him he had moved into an apartment.) He said, "No...I have a house!" I then sent him over to show off his license to Tommy, John boy, Tommy Halcomb and Rod.
He has a steady job now and is working every day.
Stories like this give me hope in a world that needs hope right now. I see so many sad and weary faces under the bridge that when I run across someone like Todd, I realize that no one is hopeless and when I get discouraged thinking I have no success stories, I think of Todd.