PDT Staff Writer
Nearly 125 people came out to Operation Safety Net, the Scioto County Homeless Shelter Homeless Rally, Wednesday, to hear guest speaker — “Man With the Golden Voice” — Ted Williams.
Williams, formerly homeless himself, addressed a crowd composed of residents of the homeless shelter, as well as local community members at the Homeless Rally. He shared his personal testimony story of his life from the throes of homelessness and addiction to recovery and rehabilitation. He said the purpose of his visit to the shelter is to inspire, and to give some encouragement and to meet and greet the people.
“It brings great joy to me to be able to talk to some of the people, to give back, and to let them know it’s not who they are, but what they are, which is homeless,” Williams said.
Williams said that it has been his faith that has made the difference in his life.
“I want people to know that if you put God first, anything is possible,” Williams said.
He also said he came to assess some of the needs of Operation Safety Net, and to provide help through his non-profit organization called the Ted Williams Project, whose mission is to raise money to provide support to homeless communities by providing basic necessities to homeless shelters and outreaches.
“I came to find out what some of their needs are, and they’ve just informed me that they are in need of some steel-framed beds, and I am going to try to put that in motion,” Williams said.
In the midst of cold temperatures, Maureen Cadogan, Executive Director of the Scioto County Homeless Shelter, opened the rally by challenging the audience to unzip their coats to experience momentarily what the homeless population experiences every night and day.
“Each one reach one. We have to reach out to those who are less fortunate than ourselves, and this is how we do it,” Cadogan said.
Candles were passed out by the homeless shelter staff, and were lit in respect to the homeless population within society.
As is their custom, The Portsmouth High School Show Choir Expressions sang three selections under the direction of Sally Gower. Mayor David Malone attended the rally, and presented a proclamation to Cadogan, in recognition of National Homeless and Hungry Awareness week.
Williams has written a book about his life’s journey entitled, “A Golden Voice: How Faith, Hard Work, and Humility Brought Me from the Streets to Salvation,” and said that he will continue to reach out, and strive to make a difference in the lives of others.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.