How a Texas woman used Facebook and GoFundMe to change a homeless man's life

This information provided by Smart Cities Council Compassionate Cities.
Sun, 2017-03-19 06:00 -- Compassionate C...

It's hard not to be moved by the story of Ginger Sprouse and Victor Hubbard -- a story that demonstrates how the power of social media, the power of community and the power of compassion can make a remarkable difference in someone's life. The story has hit the national media, so perhaps it will inspire others to similar acts of compassion. – Philip Bane

Ginger Sprouse would pass Victor Hubbard several times a day. He was always standing on the same street corner. With winter approaching, she became concerned about him. She heard that others in her Kemah, Texas community wondered about him too.

So Sprouse introduced herself. As Taryn Finley tells it in Huffington Post, Sprouse learned that Hubbard suffered from a mental illness -- and that he stood on the same corner for three years because that's where his mother left him. He was waiting for her to come back.

Sprouse, a chef, started visiting him on her lunch hour, struck by his warm heart and kindness. They became friends; she gave him a place to stay during bad weather, along with dinner, a shower, clean clothes.

This is Victor
Sprouse also created the This Is Victor Facebook page so others in the community could get to know him and help him out if they wanted. She posts photos and videos of her friend and on occasion his inspirational words.

As the Post explains, he captured people's hearts. The page has over 31,000 likes and Hubbard has been the recipient of an outpouring of support and generosity – a free eye exam, a bike, a phone, even a community block party fundraiser that hundreds attended.

Sprouse also got him into the care of a mental health professional and a GoFundMe page Sprouse created has passed its $25,000 goal. The money will help pay for Hubbard's mental health needs. He's also got a job, working at the Art of the Meal restaurant for Sprouse and her husband.

"She came around and she kind of saved me," Hubbard told KHOU. "She helped me. It’s like grace."

But the story doesn't end there.

Finding his family
An uncle of Victor's spotted him on Facebook and drove from East Texas to visit him. And more recently, he reconnected with his mother. "I got to talk to her and I really feel like I accomplished something," he told KHOU.

As for Sprouse?

"He’s changed me because the man never, never, never, even when he was standing on the corner wet and in the rain, had anything negative to say," she said in the Post report. "And if he can be as gracious and kind and sweet and positive in that circumstance, then I can be in whatever circumstance I’m in."

Related articles:
Facebook connects lonely seniors with voluntary grandchildren
Social media powers efforts to help the homeless – and they're working
Small town cop uses Facebook and compassion to change the path of addiction


This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.

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