Published by: Christine Pease
July 19, 2018
As a Real Estate Agent, the impact you have on your community is often times immeasurable. Some agents see smiling faces at closings and think the job is done. You've made someone's dream come true but that's not where your job ends. As people, we get caught up in our own hustle and bustle and forget to simply wave a hand or stop to say hello. Austin residents are well aware of the homeless community that continues to trouble our city and often a cheek is turned. All too often, we just ignore the person on the side of the road, holding a sign who appears to be a drug addict, suffering from mental health disorders or just an outcast. Rarely, do we stop to consider their circumstance. Rarely, do we offer any help other than tossing out some change or leftovers. One day, Kent Redding with The Kent Redding Group, stopped at a red light. He saw a woman standing on the side of the road. She's been at this intersection for several years now when Kent rolled down his window to introduce himself and ask her name. Her name is Emily.
A series of short, red-light conversations began and a friendship sprouted. As time passed, Kent and Emily spent more and more time together building their friendship out of trust, dignity and respect. Kent invited Emily to his home to meet his family, wife and children. Now, Emily is part of the family. There's not a family dinner or gathering in which Emily is not a part of.
Emily had spent the last 12 years on the streets of Austin, alone and vulnerable. With the help of Kent, Emily is no longer homeless and now resides at Community First! Village here in Austin, Texas. Community First! Village is a planned community which provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for the disabled and chronically homeless in Central Texas. Community First! Village hired Emily to work concessions and catering but most importantly, Emily now has a supportive community to include Kent and his family, her village community and her new husband, Steve.
Emily met Steve at Community First! Village. Once engaged, she knew exactly who she wanted to escort her down the isle, Kent. "This was truly the highlight of our friendship" - Kent Redding.
Watch a short video to see just how strongly Kent impacted Emily's life and how he continues to introduce himself to the local homeless community.
"When you know someone's name, that changes everything. They are no longer a stranger" - Kent Redding