An act of kindness can mean the world to someone living on the streets. A Milwaukee bus driver saw how she could help firsthand when a regular passenger found himself homeless.
Natalie Barnes, a bus driver with the Milwaukee County Transit System, found one of her regular passengers, Richard, had been homeless for a week. His home had been condemned and he had nowhere else to go.
Surveillance video officially released by the MCTS shows their interactions over time.
Milwaukee Bus Driver Helps Homeless Man Find Housing www.youtube.com
Not wanting him to have to brave the cold night without shelter, Barnes offered to let him stay on the bus while she drove her night shift. He accepted and rode the bus at night to keep warm.
It's a touching story, setting hearts aglow.
There are still good people in this world. ❤🙏 Milwaukee bus driver helps homeless passenger get a bite to eat and… https://t.co/FwXAIwpwNj— Christa (@Christa)1542842621.0
My fellow Americans - Happy #Thanksgiving. Milwaukee bus driver helps homeless passenger get a bite to eat and pl… https://t.co/B8HyEhNUzl— Citizen Resistance (@Citizen Resistance)1542836115.0
@ABCWorldNews @DavidMuir Natalie is the perfect example of how we should be treating one another,with empathy and k… https://t.co/GuEVCCaoo8— Kerri Dionisi (@Kerri Dionisi)1542759751.0
Milwaukee bus driver helps homeless passenger get a bite to eat and place to sleep. Stories like t… https://t.co/WGBnt1RCsV— Liberal Avenger (@Liberal Avenger)1542844804.0
ALL PRAISES TO THIS WOMAN: “Milwaukee bus driver Natalie Barnes went beyond the call of duty, keeping a newly homel… https://t.co/aTE6SlzHta— J Bernard Jones (@J Bernard Jones)1542835541.0
THE Spirit of Thanksgiving💚💚💚 Milwaukee bus driver helps homeless passenger get a bite to eat and place to sleep… https://t.co/XlApDD3RPc— Steve Smith (I support 🇨🇦🇵🇷) (@Steve Smith (I support 🇨🇦🇵🇷))1542834786.0
She offered to buy the man food and, after some reluctance on his part, he relented. Richard offered to repay Barnes, but she refused.
She says in the video:
"I want to help you."
On a break, Barnes called a friend and set Richard up with an emergency shelter. The agency has been able to secure him permanent housing and get him back on his feet.
How can your heart not melt hearing about this?
There are some caring and giving people out there. Milwaukee bus driver helps homeless passenger get a bite to eat… https://t.co/KluRi8pvEM— Beth McCombs Gast (@Beth McCombs Gast)1542831854.0
There are still good people in this world. I have hope. ...Milwaukee bus driver Natalie Barnes went beyond the cal… https://t.co/Z7JAyAg9W0— Lee Navarro (@Lee Navarro)1542772892.0
@ABCWorldNews @DavidMuir Just watched!! Thank you for showing the Milwaukee bus driver helping the homeless gentlem… https://t.co/5qHR79QusV— MKE2MCO (@MKE2MCO)1542759165.0
Every time I hear that story about that Milwaukee bus driver helping that homeless man it brings good tears to my eyes. #goodnewsruhles— Mari (@Mari)1542812634.0
Nice story especially when it seems like everything is always bad. Now let's just hope this doesn't turn into anoth… https://t.co/y0i4u1wMhh— Matt Liebowitz (@Matt Liebowitz)1542837770.0
God bless a woman named Natalie a bus driver in Milwaukee for helping her regular passengers who suddenly became h… https://t.co/nbUcZKX3yO— Joann Minner (@Joann Minner)1542758580.0
This is America to me!...Milwaukee bus driver helps homeless man stay warm, find shelter https://t.co/E8nUwWfM1X— Amelia Design (@Amelia Design)1542758427.0
For this act of selflessness, Barnes received a commendation from the MCTS. It's not her first, as she's received two other commendations for outstanding service in the two years she's worked there.
Barnes and Richard are still friends. He has her cell phone number and updates her on his condition every few days.