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Homeless Man Finds Voice with Cleveland Cavaliers

homeless man

Ted Williams was homeless last month, pleading for help at the entrance to a Columbus, Ohio freeway. Today, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans offered him a job and a home. Williams, father of nine, who fell on hard times, called it "phenomenal" and "overwhelming."

“I have a God given gift of voice. I’m an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times. Please! Any help will be greatfully appreciated. Thank you and God Bless You/Happy Holidays.”

Homeless Man Ted Williams
Sign Held Up at Columbus Ohio Freeway Ramp

When a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch spotted a homeless man holding up a sign at a freeway entrance saying he has a “God given gift of voice,” he stopped to learn more. Less than a month later, Ted Williams, a 53-year-old father of nine, who said got into trouble with drugs and alcohol and then became homeless after falling on hard times, has a new job as an announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena.

To make sure their new employee stays safe and gets a good night’s sleep before work, Quicken Loans has offered to pay the mortgage on a home for Williams.

If he had the resources, Ted Williams could have made it big for himself with an online video. His deep baritone voice and plight in which many can identify quickly got the attention of the Cavaliers.

Team spokesperson Tracy Merek announced the offer during an interview on a Columbus radio station.

“We’d like to offer you full-time work with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as well as Quicken Loans Arena. On top of it, because we know you’re a person trying to get up on your feet, Quicken Loans is actually offering to pay a mortgage on a home,” team spokeswoman Tracy Merek said on the show.

Williams said he’ll take the job and the house. “That lady offered me a full-time job with the Cavs and then something about the mortgage of a home? I’m going with that! Out of all the offers I’ve had, and I’ve had quite a few, I’ll be working in Cleveland, Ohio,” Williams told a reporter. He called the offer “phenomenal” and said “it’s getting more and more overwhelming a the minutes go by.”

Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, President of Carrfour Supportive Housing, Florida’s largest nonprofit provider of housing and supportive services for the homeless, is hoping the Cavaliers’ example will encourage others.

“Millions of men, women and entire families are homeless or on the brink of homelessness,” Berman-Eisenberg said. “While each of us can offer food, guidance to resources, and a caring heart, there’s nothing more important than providing support to help the homeless become self-sufficient and independent.”

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January 2011
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