Just a few months ago, a hungry, homeless, and tired Kenneth Smith was sitting in a chair right outside an Outback Steakhouse in Fort Worth, Texas. Now, he works for the restaurant.
Smith’s transformation began when — out of the blue — a good Samaritan leaving Outback saw him and asked if he was OK.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***
“I told her, ‘No, I’m not OK at this time,’” Smith recalled to WFAA-TV, telling the outlet the woman then gave him a $100 gift card to the steakhouse so he could have a warm meal.
After sitting in the booth for a while, Smith struck up a conversation with the restaurant’s managing partner, Laura Hodges.
“I said, ‘Hey, I don’t ever want you to want for food or go hungry,’” Hodges told the news site of her conversation with Smith. “I want you to always have somewhere that you can get a warm meal.”
The manager gave Smith her business card and told him to come by “any time.”
Over the course of the next five months, Smith came in to take Hodges up on her offer to give him food. Then he asked her for a job, and Hodges gave him one.
Smith has been cleaning and bussing tables at the Outback on Bryant Irving Road for about a month.
With his newfound job, Smith really needed to find a place to live. So Hodges took to a local Facebook group — the Fort Worth Foodies — to ask if any of the members knew of a nearby motel with affordable nightly rates.
The group members came through in spades. Instead of just offering recommendations, many of them pitched in to cover the cost of Smith reserving a room at an Extended Stay hotel for six weeks. They’ve also gifted him more than $2,200, a bicycle, clothes, kitchen items, and groceries.
Hodges said she had “absolutely no idea” people — complete strangers — would be so kind, adding, “All they wanted to do was throw assistance out there and resources in any way that they possible could.”
She went on to describe the kindness of the woman who started it all, the one who gave Smith a $100 gift card, as “absolutely amazing.” The Outback manager said that woman “blessed both of our lives.”
“I think it’s so much of a good blessing,” Smith said. “And it’s wonderful just to have people these days that’ll do things for you.”
“This is a whole new beginning that God has blessed me with,” he added, “so I’m trying to get on this right, good track that He wants me to stay on.”