Kevin King might have become a statistic. An orphan, homeless teen and drug addict, he not only survived he triumphed. He now mentors the homeless. King's United Methodist church gives him the chance to not only help others, but heal himself.
(Raleigh, North Carolina)
Kevin King: "Morning, Hudson!"
(Voice of Kevin King)
"When I go to these campsites, my heart's there cause I know what these people feel. Just because they're homeless doesn't mean they're not human. That's somebody's son, that's somebody's grandson, that's somebody's brother."
Thousands of people live in tents in the woods near Raleigh, North Carolina.
(Kevin talking to man in tent) "Gonna be some good food at HOPE."
Kevin King is determined to reach these "invisible neighbors." Even recent knee surgery can't keep him from seeking them out.
Kevin King, Homeless Mentor: "I'm real passionate about what I'm doing. I don't like to see hurt in somebody's face. I don't like to see turmoil in their lives."
Tommy Tant, Formerly Homeless: "If Kevin hadn't stepped in, I'd more than likely be dead. I'm Tommy Tant. I lived in the woods for like six years. And I got introduced to a friend. Now I'm out and clean and sober, thanks to God."
(Homeless man in tent) "I keep my clothes over here...."
Hudson Ogilvie, Homeless:
"I'm Hudson Ogilvie and I've been out here two years. Kevin's been great. He's helped me get a bicycle which has made a major change in my life."
Kevin King has first-hand experience with homelessness. Growing up, he survived rape and abandonment and lived in a laundromat as a teen. He battled alcohol, drug addiction and overdoses. It was after giving his life to God, that King turned his pain into purpose.
The Rev. Gary Allred, Holland's United Methodist Church: "He really has a passion and a love, a deep love, for people struggling in the ways that he has struggled. I think Kevin sees folks and thinks but for the grace of God, that's where I might be."
Through his church, Holland's United Methodist, King became involved with HOPE Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement based at Garner United Methodist Church. Every Saturday, buses pick up people living in the woods and bring them to the church for food, showers and fresh clothes.
(Choir sings) "I'll fly away...."
Joe Koons, HOPE Ministries Coordinator: "These are people that are dirty, they're smelly, they're hungry. They're all these things and our church is opening the doors. That's huge."
(Blessing) "Lord Father, thank you so much."
(Voice of Joe Koons) "It doesn't matter religion, color, nationality. And we say it when we circle up to pray, that we're all family of one Father and this is a living example."
Lee Whitaker, Volunteer from Holland's United Methodist Church: "This is what we call our dress out area, they come in and get a pair of clothes, a few things they can use to change. Then we have four bath locations that they take baths, fresh showers."
(Man plays piano)
Dennis Stevens, Homeless: "I felt like I was lost. I was on a bad, bad journey. And the journey was ending up in nowhere. Since I've been coming to the ministry, my whole journey has changed. I just love it."
Kevin King: "I'll talk to you in a little bit...."
King uses this meal to seek out those who are ready for change. In the meantime, he's helping with donations of necessities like sleeping bags, food and bug spray.
Denise Whitley King, Kevin's Wife: "I'm proud of Kevin because he said, 'I want to help someone.' He didn't just think it or just say it. He actually went out and did it. It really makes Kevin happy and it keeps him centered in Christ and that where he needs to be, clean and sober."
Only two years ago, King was living in his car because of his addiction to cocaine.
Denise Whitley King: "If it wasn't for the church, he wouldn't be alive because he reached out to them when he back-stepped and they took him and they helped him."
Kevin King, Homeless Mentor: "When I walk into that church and I walk into the sanctuary Sunday mornings, I just feel this power. I feel love, I feel comfort. I feel alive again."
The Rev. Gary Allred: "The church family came alongside him and supported him."
Kevin King: "Hey, Bill."
Bill Singletary is King's close friend and also a member at Holland's.
Bill Singletary, Holland's United Methodist Church: "I've been a Christian all my life. But I've never really gotten involved with street people. And I'm seeing a whole new life. It's what it's all about. The Bible talks about serving the widows and the orphans and the homeless and it's really opened a new life for me. "
(Kevin to homeless man) "Que pasa, man?"
Kevin King: "I call them temporarily displaced humans because they are. They're looking for a permanent place."
(Kevin to homeless man) "I bring it Lunes?"
Kevin King: "Maybe I'm just one person, but if I reach one person then I'm doing God's work."
(Kevin to homeless man) "Okay. I see you. Bye."
Posted: March 14, 2013