Life can get pretty difficult at times for those without anyone to lean on, and it can be easy to lose hope. A young teen in Ennis, TX has dealt first hand with this struggle. At the age of 2, Kalon Smith was given up by his mother and placed in foster care.
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But after over a decade and a half in the system, a judge gave his mother custody. Kalon and his mother’s relationship went “sour” and he was forced to leave her house at seventeen.
This is a tough age to be removed from a home – on the brink of adulthood, but not quite ready. As a young teen, he had no other place to call home, so he decided to make a park bench one.
Several nights a week during some of the coldest months winter, the young man slept outside and stuffed his only bag of clothing underneath the bench. And each morning he would get up and get himself ready for school.
Smith shared with local news that during his days on the street just a couple of months ago, “(he) was hungry. Tired.” And “It was just hard. Living in a park is just not the way to go.”
It was also a situation that left emotional scars and the belief that no one cared about him or his struggle. But one day that changed, when he knocked on the door of Brook Welton to get some food and help. When she answered her front door, she offered him more than just a hot meal for the night.
She said, “(our family) told him he was welcome to stay with us as long as he keeps his head on straight and goes on the right path we’re willing to help.” It was there he also got an opportunity to join the local church down the street, Tabernacle Baptist Church.
The Worship pastor, Brandon Hixson said, “I think the goal is to get Kalon on a path” and his team and the rest of the congregation have since taken the young man under their wing. “It truly does take a village to surround these people and I see so much potential in him,” Hixson said.
Tabernacle helped the young boy apply for his social security card, find a job and get the emotional support he needs to build a life for himself. Now at the age of eighteen and living well, Smith said, “I really don’t know how to put it in words, just thankfulness because if it wasn’t for them honestly I think I would still be sleeping in the park somewhere.” Even adding that, “Brooke has been my backbone. She’s my mother figure now.”
And in response, the woman with tears rolling down her face stated, “He’s never said that to me” and “That’s really sweet. That’s really sweet.”
To help give the young boy get a fresh start, a GoFundMe page has started and the goal is set for $5,000. So far in just one day, they’ve raised almost $3,000 as of now.
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