A little more than a week ago, Ted Williams was a homeless panhandler in Columbus, Ohio. Now, he is famous around the world.
A newspaperman's video of Williams standing at an off-ramp begging for money and a chance to use his "God-given gift of voice" ricocheted around the Internet. Millions have seen the video, and Oprah Winfrey and the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team have been among those offering Williams a job.
It is hard to say what made Williams' video such a sensation. Perhaps it was the irony of hearing such a beautiful voice coming from such a disheveled-looking man. He also spoke with sincerity about wanting to get back to productive work after ruining his life with alcohol and drugs.
Williams' story is extraordinary. But Ruth Mark knows there are many more people like him — homeless men and women with God-given talents who, with help and encouragement, can realize their dreams of getting off the street and finding work again.
Mark has seen these people every week for the past five years as director of Pyramid Professional Resources. The non-profit organization is housed at Christ Church Cathedral and receives support from several local businesses and six other churches: Southland Christian, Second Presbyterian, Church of the Good Shepherd, Faith Lutheran, Imani Baptist and St. Martha's Episcopal.
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