They Told A Homeless Man To Get In Their Car, Six Hundred Miles Later They…


Homelessness in the United States has been a growing problem since the 1980s. According to the Harbor Interfaith Service, homelessness skyrocketed in the 80s because of two significant factors “the economy and the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill.”

Despite a significant increase in programs and community-based organizations to help individuals battling homelessness, there is still a negative perception of the homeless community.

In fact, according to the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (WLIHA), it is a common misconception that homeless people are violent criminals when in fact, homeless people are less likely to be perpetrators of violent crimes and more likely to be victims of them compared to a housed person.

However, this story isn’t about a violent homeless man, it is a story of a couple Dawn and Jodi Gieber who became a beacon of hope for a homeless man named James who had been living on the streets of Little Rock, Arkansas, for over a decade.

James had become a familiar face for people living in the area, including the husband and wife Jodi and Dawn. They often saw him on the road while leaving for work. Jodi would see him while patrolling the streets while Dawn saw him on her way to the courthouse.

Dawn always wondered about James‘ life story and what had led to his current state of living. While James had earned a bad reputation over time for being unfriendly and mean, she knew there was more to him. Dawn further explained:

“James was just hungry. He was cold. He was eating out of dumpsters. James just had no resources and my husband and I just felt that there was something we needed to do to help him.”

Dawn, who worked as a records specialist at the Pulaski County Circuit Court, mustered up the strength to ask James something that nobody had ever bothered to ask him before. She asked him why he was homeless.

Contrary to how homeless people are usually treated, Dawn wanted to treat James like a human. James told her he had lost all means of contact with his family and didn’t know how to find his way back to them despite all his efforts. Dawn added:

“I talked to my husband and told him we had to do something. James didn’t have the resources. We did Google searches and finally, my husband found some numbers.”

After trying everything from phone calls, voice messages, and emails, Jodi and Dawn were successful in their efforts. It was around Thanksgiving that Dawn received a call back from his niece, who said that they had been looking for James and thought he was dead.

“It was just the right thing to do – he’s a person and that matters,” Dawn said.

Soon afterward, Dawn and her husband arranged for James to talk to his family, which was indeed an emotional moment for him. But before the Giebers could reunite him with his family, they discovered that he had outstanding warrants in Little Rock. Dawn commented:

“I went before the judge and told him James’ situation and that we were willing to pay all his fees and the judge dismissed all charges.”

While standing for James could have cost the Giebers their career, they didn’t hesitate in helping the homeless man. After buying him new clothes and making all the necessary arrangements, they drove James almost 600 miles near Illinois.

It was so rewarding for them to see James reunite with his family, and knew that it was the best thing they had done. James is at home with his family now in Illinois and is doing well.

Jodi and Dawn Gieber are examples of how just being kind can change somebody’s life.

Watch the video below for more details:

Sources: AWM, Harbor Interfaith Service,  KARK