Every day on her way to and from work, Ginger Sprouse saw him standing on the corner, rain or shine: a homeless man who simply seemed to be waiting for something, or someone.
The sight of him began to needle her, and she asked others in her city of Nassau Bay if they knew his story. No one did, so she decided to find out.
Ginger discovered his name was Victor Hubbard, and he was waiting at the corner for his mom to get him. On and off the streets for the past 10 years, he hadn’t seen his mom in years until recently, and he wanted to be sure she could find him when she came back.
They struck up a friendship, and though Victor never asked for anything of her, Ginger and her husband took Victor into their home on and off. Victor began to share his life: the mental illness he battled, his past.
She also knew that no one else was friendlier or kinder, despite all his hardships: he never forgot to ask Ginger about herself or her day, and he encouraged her in his own way. He was always kind, joyful and full of gratitude and appreciation, despite his difficulties and hard life.
Ginger was inspired to start a Facebook page for him called ‘This Is Victor,’ to draw attention to his story. She also raised money for him, and the community rallied, giving him free exams, food and clothes. Ginger worked hard as an advocate for Victor, getting him into mental health clinics, helping him with prescriptions and even hiring him to keep him off the streets.
Soon, Ginger’s work paid off. An uncle of Victor’s in Texas discovered the Facebook page and then drove down to see Victor. And then, Victor at last was reunited with his mom.
Victor was happy, but it was bittersweet for Ginger, though. “He is an adult, and I cannot make him stay anywhere,” Sprouse told Today. “We are very hopeful that he will make good decisions and not want to go back and stay with her and continue this cycle of not being medicated and being out on the street, and all of those things that go along with mental illness, because she does not have the capacity to be able to care for him the way that he needs.”
As a result, Ginger decided to take in Victor full time, and he has a job with her in her cooking business, Art of the Meal.
“If we help him, we cannot just clean him up and give him a shower and throw him out there and say, ‘OK, little bird, fly,”’ she told Today. “It’s a lifetime commitment.
“We kind of had to make that decision. Is he really a part of our family? Do we really mean it when we say that he’s going to be in our lives for the rest of it if that’s where he wants to be? And we said, ‘Yes, he is.'”
See his touching story below, as well as the still-flourishing friendship between a man who was once homeless and the mother who cared enough to discover who he really was…