The man with the “golden voice” used his unmistakable gift to escape homelessness and is now using his fame to help others still living on the streets.
After panhandling on the streets for 17 years, Ted Williams’ life took a turn for the better when a reporter from the Columbus Dispatch posted a video of his sultry announcing voice that quickly went viral. Williams has since gotten a contract with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, reunited with his mother, moved into an apartment and is working on kicking his alcohol and drug addictions.
Now that he's gotten back on his feet, Williams wants to make sure that those struggling without shelter, as he once did, get the same chance to start over, NBC reports.
“Some people just really, really look at me with admiration and they’re like, ‘God, if you can do it, I can do it,’” he told the news outlet. “I think, God, if I fail what is that person going to do?”
The determined advocate recently launched the Ted Williams Project, which supports homeless communities by providing basic necessities to shelters and outreach programs, according to the nonprofit’s website. It’s working on paying for such critical items as sheets, towels, mattresses and blankets and also granting “wish-list” items to shelters.
But Williams made a habit of giving back even before he launched his organization. Soon after he became an Internet sensation two years ago, he visited a man with whom he once shared a tent on the streets of Columbus and offered him a wad of cash, according to TMZ.
It’s no surprise that Williams is focusing on helping others change their fate, considering the painful memories of his past are still quite vivid in his mind.
“I thought it was the most degrading thing,” Williams told NBC of how he viewed begging on a highway. “I thought it was the lowest form of homelessness.”