Good Samaritan saves local man’s foot and launches fundraiser to give him housing
A man experiencing homelessness is finding hope and healing... but his journey isn’t over.
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A local man experiencing homelessness is finding hope and healing.
“My message is they’re human beings, they’re just like me and you. There’s just some trauma in the past, there’s a million different reasons they’re on the street,” said Eric Overstreet.
Overstreet has spent the past 13 years helping folks on the streets of Mobile. Last year, he embarked on a 90-day journey to live among people experiencing homelessness.
“It was so eye opening. The main thing I learned was they’re wonderful people- there are some addictions and there’s a lot of mental illness on the street,” he explained.
Overstreet recalls one of the first people he met when he began his ministry... a man named Travis Reagan.
“Travis Reagan is one of the first homeless people I met about 13 years ago.. very, very kind, timid, laid back, very nice, very funny,” he said.
Recently, Overstreet noticed Reagan was having a difficult time walking.
“We had an outreach last Sunday and Travis showed up and he was limping. He came up to my wife and said my foot’s about to fall off and she said well let me see your foot. He took his shoe off... took his sock off... and it was really bad... horribly infected,” he detailed.
Overstreet says Reagan’s foot was disfigured from a lack of proper footwear.
“The reason is they’re walking around Mobile with filthy shoes, dirty socks- walking around in the rain with wet feet. Instead of complaining to somebody and asking for new shoes-- he’s so kind and laid back, he never mentioned it to us,” he said.
“During the 90 day homeless thing, I found out very quickly how important shoes were- walking around all the time. My feet were bleeding in about a week,” he added.
Overstreet took Reagan to the hospital where he’s now recovering from a partial amputation. Today, they celebrated Reagan’s birthday.
“We took him a birthday cake and some stuff to the hospital. A lot of nurses came in and ate cake- they all love him. He’s the most lovable person you’ve ever met in your life,” said Overstreet.
Despite Reagan’s progress, Overstreet says his journey is just beginning. Reagan needs a place to recover after he’s discharged.
“Here’s the problem. He’s gonna have to have aftercare, of course and his foot will easily get infected again if he goes back on the street. I’m gonna make sure he doesn’t go back on the street if possible. I need a place for him to stay, so I’m doing a fundraiser with some of my friends- raising some money. We want to mentor him and pour into his life. He’s worthy.”
If you want to get involved in other ways, Overstreet is holding Cargo Carts for Christmas in the parking lot of the old J and J Furniture Store. They’ll be passing out wagons to give folks an alternative to shopping carts. This way, they’ll be able to tote their belongings in their own wagon.
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