66-year-old Coy Featherston had been struggling with homelessness for more than two decades and one day a published article featuring his picture caught the attention of his high school friend.
These days it's extremely difficult to find friends who would willingly go beyond and above to help you out. Luckily for a 66-year-old homeless Austin man, his childhood friends proved to be the rare kind. Coy Featherston had been struggling with homelessness for more than two decades and one day his luck changed when a newspaper published a detailed article in the Austin American-Statesman, about the clash over dueling laws around a homeless camping ban in specific areas of the city. Back in September, this article also featured a picture of Featherston pushing a shopping cart filled with a whole lot of items in the rain.
Fortunately, when the article was published, one of Featherston's middle school friends, Leea Mechling learned from a friend that her old classmate was residing on the streets. Speaking to CBS News she explained how at first, she didn't recognize her pal after seeing his picture, adding it was the caption of the article that caught her attention. Furthermore, she revealed that Featherston used to be a talented football player who was once awarded "Best All-Around Boy." And seeing him in such a miserable state surprised her beyond words.
A month ago he was homeless. Then his friends intervened— Top Geek (@FredCamposJr) 28 October 2019
Life has its ups and downs, but rarely do you see a swing as dramatic as what 66-year-old Coy Featherston just went throughhttps://t.co/T8br1mDn1s pic.twitter.com/7fjfWtueJE
Of course, she couldn't just turn a blind eye to her friend's hardships and so she set out to find him. "I got online and found [the article] and it was [Coy]. I saw my friend and I just couldn’t leave him out there," Mechling told KVUE. Determined to find Featherston, whom she hadn't seen in years, Mechling drove around the area for days until she finally spotted him. "He was right there in front of the church feeding the pigeons," she added. Recounting the details of their meeting, Mechling said, "I said, 'Hi, Coy, it's Leea, do you remember me? ' And he said, 'Of course I do!"
#FriendshipState❤️: A month ago Coy Featherston was homeless and his picture appeared on the front page of the Austin @statesman. Old high school friends saw it & went looking to find him. https://t.co/hQMf3qb1OE pic.twitter.com/aNJopVR3Bf— HOUmanitarian (@HOUmanitarian) 26 October 2019
"I was relieved because it was someone that I knew," said Featherston. However, it wasn't just Mechling who wanted to reach out to him. "It's really shocking when you find that an old friend that you've known is living in your same town on the street," said another friend, Paul Judd. Assisting their former classmate to get back on his feet once again, many friends got him different items of necessity. "Yeah, I got him a phone and put him on my cellphone plan," said J.D. Allen, while Pat Judd said, "Get him some dental work done. We got his Social Security done."
Don Vanderburg, another resident of the area and a friend of Featherston opened up his home to his friend who was in need. "He lives with me. He can stay there as long as he wants," said Vanderburg. "Whatever it takes, we're going to turn him around," added Pat Judd. Featherston's friends reportedly revealed how the formerly homeless man, fortunately, did not have any alcohol or drug addiction, further adding how he ended up on the streets following a series of unfortunate events and some mental issues. After a point of time, it was simply impossible to make his way back to where he was without any help.
"I don't know if I'd really gotten through it without my friends. Make friends now," advised Featherston. "You may need them someday. You may be glad that you have them – because it can happen to anyone," he added. A GoFundMe account was also created by Allen to support Featherston by raising $2,000. Thankfully, generous people surpassed the goal amount by raising $18,000.