Homeless Man Shares His Story

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You've heard the numbers, you understand the stats... each week, the recession ruins more and more lives.

Eyewitness News reporter Kim Carapucci met one man who learned the hard way that in this economy, anybody can become homeless.

From the outside looking in, 51-year-old George Smith is just a statistic...

He's part of the state's eight percent jobless rate...and now one of seven-thousand homeless people in South Georgia.

"All of a sudden to wake up and you have nothing to go to. No income, no purpose for your life, no direction, no nothing and you're not in control anymore," said George Smith, who is both jobless and homeless.

Never in his life has Smith had to rely on others. He's been working since he was 13... until six weeks ago...when he was laid off from the Pilgrim's Pride Poultry Processing Plant in Live Oak, Florida.

It's estimated that over seven thousand people living in South Georgia are homeless. And without community help, many fear the problem will only get worse before it ever gets better.

Friday morning the South Georgia Coalition to End Homelessness held a Prayer Breakfast to seek help from above and from the public to end this growing problem.

"It surprises me because now we're dealing with hardworking people. We're dealing with people who have never been homeless a day in their lives that always worked hard. Now we're seeing plants close down and now we have whole families that are being affected by it," said Diane West, Case Management Director.

"I hope that I can see my way through this one and hopefully get a job and be able to get an apartment live some kind semblance of a normal life. But it's not just me, there's a lot of people in the same situation."

After 38 years of work experience... and 30 applications throughout the region...Smith is living the one life he never imagined himself in.

If you would like more information, call 229-245-8064 or go to www.sgceh.org.

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