Walmart assistant manager helps homeless 20-year-old in Greenvil - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Walmart assistant manager helps homeless 20-year-old in Greenville

Daniel (FOX Carolina/12/22/17) Daniel (FOX Carolina/12/22/17)

Woodruff Road in Greenville is know for its busy intersections, traffic lights, and array of stores and restaurants.  But, in the midst of the cars and the shoppers, there is a young man named Daniel, whose life circumstance brought him here.   

"All I could think about was getting a job and moving forward. I wanted to get off the streets and I wanted out of the cold," said Daniel.  

Daniel doesn't want his last name used, but he is 20-years-old and started living alone on Woodruff Road in August.  He slept in a donation bin on one stormy night, crouched inside to get out of the rain and wind.  But after being robbed of his sleeping bag, clothes, and identification, he found himself sleeping in a narrow passage between a business and a row of bushes.  Daniel said, "Nobody could hear me, nobody could see me.  Bushes are thick enough, you can see through them and see what's coming your way, but they can't see you."  

He arrived in Greenville in August after living a group home since the death of his father when he was a teenager.  In fact, the only connection he carried with him of his dad, was a photo that was also stolen when he was robbed.  He called that robbery a low-point.   

"That night was the breaking point for me," said Daniel. "It honestly was."

Still, Daniel carried on.  He got an inexpensive gym membership so he had a place to shower for job interviews.  He gave his resume to any business he came across.  Nothing seemed to work out.  

"It wasn't part of my plan, but I didn't find a job in time and that's when I started to struggle to find a place to work.  You get homeless and start to look nasty and it's even harder," he explained.

Then, to get out of the cold, he started spending the night inside the Walmart on Woodruff Road.  Daniel caught the attention of third shift Assistant Store Manager, Tami Graves. 

"He came in one night and I tried to talk to him... but you could tell he was kind of skittish," Tami said. 

But things changed on Thanksgiving night.   

"He kind of warmed up and was telling me, you know, things that had happened to him and everything," said Graves. "I went home and told my family about him and I just had to do something."

Tami, a mother and grandmother herself, said God put it on her heart to help.  

"I've went to bed crying and I've woke up crying.  We don't know how it's like.  The kid was hungry," Graves said.  "He had two dollars to his name." 

She and some of her co-workers did what they could.  

"We gave him money for food to eat and we bought him a sleeping bag, because someone had stolen his sleeping bag," she explained.

She eventually invited Daniel into the home she shares with her husband.  

"It was put on my heart to do something for him," Graves said.  "You just never know somebody's situation.  A lot of people take for granted for what they have and if you've got it, you've got to share it."

That sharing and caring spirit is making an impact on Daniel. 

When asked how it feels to have someone believe in him, he said,  "Amazing.  It actually, honestly, feels great.  I know she wants to help me.  She's got the best heart ever that I've seen in a person.  I think the bottom line is she wants me to get back on my feet and she just wants to see me do good."

That includes getting a job, something Daniel had tried to do for months.  Thanks in part to Tami's encouragement, Daniel is working at Walmart too, in their auto shop.  "I get to sign people in, check the tire pressure, clean the car out," said Daniel. 

It is a major step forward to getting Daniel off the streets.  A chance meeting and crossing paths with a stranger has had a major impact on his life and his future.  

"He was put in my path for a reason and I won't turn my back on him," said Tami.  "For Daniel, I'm more than thankful.  I really am.  I work up this morning thinking about that too."

Tami and her family have started a Gofundme account for Daniel.  They are doing everything they can to help him and he is working, but could use a little more help.  The link is below:

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