A group of neighboring businesses on S. Belt Highway, helped a local homeless man named Nate, get home.
Nate was known by many as he lived under an over pass and tended to make a mark on the land. While it was an easy thing to complain about, Matthew McCurley, Michael Eivins, and a few others who frequent the area decided to help.
“I decided the best thing to do was not complain about the trash or complain about his situation, just to talk to him. So I went down there, talked him into coming here and working here in the store. He cleaned up downstairs and started working everyday. And I would have him work, I would talk to him a little bit, give him money for helping, and talking to him about wanting better in his life,” McCurley said.
Nate was not totally receptive to the idea of a different life, until he opened up more.
“That’s when I got to know about his mom and he really would like to see his mom but he was not wanting to go at the time. He was kind of wanting to do his own thing so to speak. But then me and Mike got together and came up with a really good plan to just send him back on a grey hound bus,” McCurley said.
Then, McCurley arrived to his business one morning and noticed Nate had cleaned up the whole corner. Eivins came up with the bus plan, and they sent him on his way.
“That day before he went I said you’re gonna go home somehow, someway. So I messaged Greg, ‘how about we put him on a bus pay for his ticket and get him on that bus to go home,'” Eivins said.
The bus ride to Oregon was three days long with 10 stops along the way. The men worried about Nate on the long trip alone, but after a few days they were able to get in contact with his mother in Oregon when he arrived.
“It was just an awesome conversation. Just talking about how he really appreciated St. Joe and how he really loved St. Joe and how he really appreciated the love. In fact, his words were ‘tell everybody I love them’ so that conversation right there gave me some goose bumps. Like man, what we did was exciting,” McCurley said. “If we can come together when there’s a situation like St. Joe did, man the sky is the limit.”