HOUSTON – On any given day in downtown Houston, there are dozens of people on the street, living and trying to make a living. Look a little closer and you might also see people lending a helping hand.
A viewer sent KHOU11 News a photo they snapped, showing a Houston police officer giving a homeless man a jacket on a very cold day.
The officer in the photo is Sgt. Wick with the Houston Police Department. Turns out it is his job every day, to look for people he can help. He leads the Homeless Outreach Program.
”I’m thinking he’s cold, and I’m thinking he needs some clothes. And I have the ability to get them for him, so that’s what I did,” said Wick.
To him it’s not such a big deal and it’s actually a nice shift in responsibility for a police officer.
”I’ve been a police officer for a long time. I’ve had lots of experience on having to arrest people. It feels really good to be able help them out when they’re cold,” said Wick.
Wick said patrolling the downtown streets, comes naturally now because it feels like his second home.
”I spend more time with the folks on the street than with my own family. I mean they’re my street family. What we do is we talk to them. We try to find out why they’re on the street, and try to help them get off,” said Wick.
KHOU 11 News looked for Daryl, the man he was helping that day in the photo, but had no luck. However, we did meet Daryl’s friend, who also frequents the downtown Houston area.
”It’s rough sometimes. God bless ya’ll. If it weren’t for people like him giving you clothes and helping you out, it’s rough. You out here in a T-shirt and you’re shivering. It’s cold! You’re hungry and you’re mad at the world,” said Rick Johnson, a homeless man downtown.
KHOU 11 News wasn’t the only one looking for Daryl. A woman dropped off a bag of clothes for him and gave it to Wick instead.
“I’ll get it to him. I’ll see him tomorrow,” said Wick.
”People living on the street have always been around. They’re broken. And they have different problems with different people and you just need to find out, figure out what they need and try to help them get it,” said Wick.
As long as there are people on the street and down on their luck, you’ll probably find Wick right there with them.