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Flint Man Shares His Story of Homelessness and Panhandling [VIDEO]

“Will” or “The Homeless Model,” as he’s dubbed in a video that’s making its way around Facebook, is someone you may have seen panhandling in the Flint area. He’s been seen asking for money on the exit from I-75 to Miller Road, and when Facebook user Tamiekco Smith caught up with him, he was near the intersection of Linden and Taft.

Smith posted the video on his Facebook page, asking the man to explain how he had become homeless. Will tells us how quickly he went from having a normal life, to leading a life of begging.

“Obviously I made some stupid choices, hung out with the wrong people,” he tells Smith. “I did have my own apartment, I had my own car, I had a job, everything. I made one stupid mistake, and I let my friends talk me into having some stuff — I knew it was stolen — I let them have it at my house, and it got found out, and I ended up going to jail. I was there for about a month, and I lost my job.”

We’ve all heard stories about panhandlers who make a lot of money, and use scam tactics in order to prey on our sympathies. But “Will” seems genuine, and (to me) demonstrates that there is really a very thin line between being a law-abiding citizen, and a life of despair.

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- George McIntyre
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