Community rallies for homeless man after post goes viral
CLEARWATER (FOX 13) - The Bay Area community is rallying around a homeless man in Clearwater after a Good Samaritan put out a call for donations on social media.
It all began last Thursday, when Matt Cordoza was fishing along Clearwater Beach and spotted a man sleeping on a bench.
He stopped to talk to him, learned his name was Rocky Been, and realized he was cold. Rather than let him stay that way, Matt offered up the hoodie off his back, and then took a picture of him in the sweatshirt to share with his wife, or so he said.
But he didn't just share it with his wife; he posted it on social media, too.
"I'm not sharing this post for attention or likes but to show how happy something as small as sweater to keep warm can make somebody feel like gold," Cordoza wrote, in part. "He was so appreciative that it made me see how blessed and fortunate I am to be able to buy warm clothes, pay my rent/mortgage for living, being able to kiss my kids and wife goodnight or even giving a person in need the hoody off my back. If you see him in the downtown Clearwater /Clearwater beach area and have more than a enough to bless somebody else he could use the help."
And almost immediately, offers from all over poured in from people who wanted to make a difference.
The managers at Crabby's Bar and Grill in Clearwater Beach, for instance, saw the post and decided to give Rocky a job. His first day was Monday.
And a woman named Dianne Hio was another. She ended up launching the GoFundMe account that has since collected more than $1,300 for Rocky.
Some of the money was used to put a temporary roof over Rocky's head, giving him a place to call home for the first time in three years. And the rest of the money, they say, will go towards finding him a permanent place to stay.
Rocky says there is a "lot of warmth" inside his heart right now, and is thankful for all of the donations.
"I am so amazed how people want to show their love and want to help me. I just can't get over it. I'm just crying right now, I'm just in shock," said Been. "God has been great to me. Everybody here has been fantastic. I just can't wait to live on here on the beach and enjoy my life like I should've been years ago."
Click here to access the GoFundMe account set up for Rocky.