HOUSTON — It used to be that when Ginger Sprouse came across homeless people she would often give them something: her two cents.
“I would say, ‘Why don’t you get a job?’ Or, ‘What’s your problem?’ It made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. I’ve been that way my whole life,” she said.
But about a year ago, Ginger, who owns a cooking school outside Houston, decided she didn’t like that about herself and would at least try to change.
She began by approaching a guy she used to see all the time on her way to work. His name is Victor Hubbard. Victor says he told Ginger how he ended up on the streets after his mother moved away and left him.
“I didn’t know where she was,” Victor said.
He says Ginger listened to his story and went on her way.
“Then I couldn’t get him out of my mind. And so I was like, ‘Fine, I’ll go back.’ But then what really got me — this was probably after about the third time I met him — he said, ‘When are you coming back?'” she said.
“People would come by and I was like, ‘You know I have a friend named Ginger. She’s on her way.’ I was trying to let them know … I was taken care of.” Victor said.
This continued for a few months until one day, Ginger realized their arrangement could not go on like this.
It was a cold December night. And although Victor had food and blankets, there’s only so much comfort you can pass through a car window. So Ginger did something — something the old Ginger would never dream of doing.
She went to her husband Dean with a request.
“I asked Dean, ‘Would it be OK with you if I went and got him?’ And I was like, ‘If he could just stay one night cause it’s raining…” she said.
“I had to think about it,” Dean said. “The honest truth is, you know, when she says, ‘I feel compelled to help this guy,’ how can I say no to that?”
And that’s how Victor Hubbard found his second family. He now lives with Ginger and Dean full time.
They helped him get social services and doctor appointments, introduced him to the community and made him part of it.
Victor also works two jobs now — one at a burger joint and another at a cooking school — where he has one of the most compassionate bosses in south Texas.
“We’re going to make mistakes and life is messy, but if you’re going to love other people you have to be willing to step into their mess. My whole life I wanted to avoid that. That’s why I rolled the window up and didn’t look,” Ginger said.
And that’s why now she rolls it down — to let the blessings blow in.
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