PRINCETON, Ind. — A homeless man staying at an abandoned car wash in Princeton has sparked a community reaction of giving.
Kendell Martin, a 27-year-old soft-spoken man who says he is originally from New Orleans, has stayed in Sacramento, Calif., Henderson and Owensboro Ky.,
He caught a ride into Princeton a while back and decided to stay.
Todd Cuzzort, Princeton, has seen Martin making his way through town over the past few months.
"I had seen him walking up and down the streets here in town for quite a while. I just thought he was someone new in town that lived here and just walked," Cuzzort told the Princeton Daily Clarion (http://bit.ly/1a5Tkbu ).
Driving through town, Cuzzort noticed Martin at the car wash and brought it up on a Facebook page, asking whether anyone knew anything.
"There were a couple of people who said 'Yeah, my husband picked him up one day took him home, gave him a shower, gave him some food from the house, seeing what he needed and took him back,'" Cuzzort said.
Finding out that Martin was approachable, Cuzzort reached out to him.
"My daughter was with me one day after school and we went up there and I hollered to him. I introduced myself and my daughter. I asked him if he needed anything, like a drink, something to eat. And he said "No I'm all right.'"
Cuzzort was determined to help in any way he could so he asked Martin again.
"I said 'If you need a drink, it's hot out, whatever you need.' And he said 'Maybe I'll take a root beer.' I said 'Do you want a sandwich or anything?' He said 'Maybe some Wendy's fries.' And I was like, 'That's it? I'll get you what you need,' Then he said 'Yeah, I'll take a Baconator,' and he smiled real big," Cuzzort said.
Cuzzort was so excited to help Martin that he made a wrong turn out of the car wash.
"My daughter said, 'Dad, Wendy's is back there!'"
"That's one thing I'll never forget, the way he said 'I'll take a Baconator,'" Cuzzort smiled.
That interaction and eventual friendship sparked Cuzzort's enthusiasm to do more.