When Alcide Dominique of Opelousas, Louisiana, got to work at Dominique Auto Sales on April 22, he and his business partner Sean noticed there was a homeless man sleeping out on the porch.
It was raining and cold, and the man only had a sheet to cover himself. Many business owners would’ve kicked the loiterer off the property, but Dominique let him stay and sleep on the somewhat protected porch.
There was something different about this man, and Dominique decided to do a little more for him — something the man probably wasn’t used to or expecting.
He learned that the man’s name was Jamie Brown. Brown was 33, and had been living on the street for the past three years after his grandparents, who he’d been living with, passed away.
“He was very kind,” Dominique said, according to Fox News. “He was just happy to be with people who were … treating him like a human being.”
So Dominique decided to start out with the basics. He got Brown some supplies from Walmart, bought him some hot food and got him a night at a motel, where he could be out of the elements.
“All we were doing was just being a friend and getting him something to eat and getting him a room,” he said. “That’s all that we were planning on doing.”
But as they ran those errands, Dominique was filming, and his business partner posted a short compilation to TikTok, where it blew up.
@seannn_pTikTok do your thing! Let’s help him out. Everything sent to me will go directly to him.♬ Home – Edith Whiskers
A GoFundMe was started. Donations — physical and monetary — started pouring in. People were charmed by Brown’s politeness and Dominique’s generosity, and they were moved.
“In one night, I think we got maybe about two to three thousand [dollars],'” Dominique said. “It was like a blessing. … He didn’t have to go back on the street.”
“I mean the generosity of so many people … who just trusted us … is amazing to me. I think I would be kind of skeptical myself about sending money to a complete stranger off of something that I saw on TikTok. And that’s where I’m inspired.”
“It would be a tragedy for him to end up being on the streets again a year from now,” Dominique said. “So our goal is to work with him and take the time that we need.”
“Helping people is what we do,” Dominique posted on his business Facebook page on Sunday. “We are honored and thankful for all the attention we have received throughout the entire country. Thank you all so much. Hopefully a foundation that helps others get back on their feet is in the future, but until then you know where to find me.”
“Have a bless week my friends and remember to treat others as you would want to be treated.”
Dominique has been encouraged by all the people, including complete strangers, who have pitched in to support Brown after he’d been dealt such a rough hand.
“You have to ask yourself what’s important in life,” Dominique said. “[Is it] getting off work at five o’clock and going home to watch TV, or is it me getting off work at five o’clock to go check on somebody and see if they’re OK?”
Brown has been overwhelmed with the amount of support he has received.
“It’s kind of spectacular, like, you don’t see that every day,” he told KATC-TV. “Without him and Sean, I’d be nowhere … without y’all, I would be nowhere.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.