Stranger’s kindness helps homeless man get his life back on track

From Left: Red Bryant, Scott Walker. (Photo: WKRN)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — What a homeless man in Murfreesboro found inside an envelope brought him to tears.

Rowy “Red” Bryant, 47, has been down on his luck for 20 years and living on the streets, but there is hope for him, thanks to the kindness of a man who took the time to get to know him.

Who would have though a piece of paper could mean so much?

“Oh my God,” Bryant is heard saying on cell phone video taking by WGNS Radio Vice President Scott Walker.

“What do you think it is?” Walker asked.

“I got to be my birth certificate. Oh my God,” a tearful Bryant replied. “I’m going to go over to this place and show them this.”

Red Bryant looks tearfully at his new birth certificate. (Photo: WKRN)
Red Bryant looks tearfully at his new birth certificate. (Photo: WKRN)

Red, as he is called by those who know him, has been struggling for years.

“Them tears of joy because I’ve been out here for almost 20 years and all I want to do is get my life back together and get off these streets,” Bryant told News 2.

Red is homeless.

“I’ve had a really rough life, but I’m ashamed of what I did in my life, but I’m about to change my life,” he said.

Change begins with that piece of paper.

“I seen a white envelope, this one right here, and I knew it was my birth certificate,” Bryant said.

For over a decade, Red has been without his California birth certificate, which meant no ID card and no job.

“And I’ve been trying to get it for 15 years, and Scott Walker was the only one was able to help me or willing to help me,” he said.

Walker spends his time photographing and documenting the homeless in Middle Tennessee.

Red’s emotional reaction was not a surprise to Walker.

“Red’s kind of an emotion guy,” Walker said.  “He’s got a huge sense of humor so I kind of expected him to get really excited about it.”

Red has been through a lot in his 47 years. Almost two years ago he was trying to cross busy Church Street near I-24 and was hit by a tractor-trailer; ironically the cab of the truck was red.

“Red head, red semi,” he jokingly said.  “And they said I would never, ever walk again.”

Red has an iron rod in his leg and now beaten the odds and is walking.

He is grateful for the man who stopped to hear his story.

“It was such a simple task to do, but it was so big and meaningful to him,” Walker said.  “I mean, it equals freedom in a lot of ways.”

Freedom, thanks to a $25 piece of paper.

“I just want to get my life back together, and thanks to Scott Walker, I got it going on now,” Bryant said.

Red was able to get his ID from the Department of Safety Friday and also has two job interviews next week.