Transformation is a reality for “H the Handyman” and he enthusiastically wants to tell others about his life changing experience. Seven years ago “H” had another name – “Po Pimp.” He was homeless, hungry, and had been convicted of a felony. One night some members of a Gardendale church came to the place where “Po” slept at night – the docks at the bus station – and offered to help him. He accepted, and now at age 63, he marvels at how his life and his name have changed.
“H” was accepted into a program at UAB that helps people get back on their feet and live successfully in their community. He lives in his own furnished apartment near GBM, he works as a handyman, and he meets weekly with his social worker. “H” is eager to help others, especially those who are hungry and homeless. Every weekend, “H” helps out with the Church in the Park. His responsibility is to help those who have come for a meal to line up and to make sure that the women and children come first.
To make ends meet, “H” pieces together local community food resources. He is unable to qualify for food stamps because of his felony offense. Sometimes he eats “off the street” at soup kitchens and when he needs a little extra, he comes to GBM for groceries. On this day, “H” arrived at GBM at 6 am and was the twenty-third person in line. He is thankful for GBM and the steadfast help it has given him with his groceries.
“H” continues to be amazed that “God can change a pimp to “H.” With deep gratitude, “H” exclaims, “God changed me back to me!”
“H” also presents a poignant example for the assistance GBM provides for the grassroots group A.C.T (Action Changes Things). Made up of former drug felons – like “H” – A.C.T. works to educate the public on the impacts felt by low-income families as a result of Alabama’s decision to not opt out of a Federal lifetime ban on SNAP and TANF benefits, which only affects individuals once convicted of a drug felony. As “H” demonstrates, people change, and we are grateful for the work of A.C.T and other groups as we work together to spread this message of transformation throughout Alabama.