BURTON (WJRT) (12/04/2019) - It may not be what many would expect out of a so-called panhandler, but Darnell Wade is not looking for handouts.
"I'm not begging you for no money or nothing. I'm just looking for work," Wade said.
That is exactly what got the attention of new business owner Adam Brimmer, who first met Wade at Speedway on Dort Highway over the summer.
"I kind of felt annoyed, you know, to be honest the first few times. Let me park away from this guy, not gonna lie," Brimmer said. "But it came to me that he never once asked for money. He's always asked for work."
The 57-year-old Mt. Morris man has had some personal and professional setbacks. He said he sleeps in shelters or with family members and works odd jobs to get by.
"I know I'm in a down situation," Wade said. "At my age, they was saying I was too slow, the pace, you know, for my pace and everything, but I didn't let that bother me."
Brimmer said he must've seen Wade dozens of times before offering to buy him some steel toe boots last month for an odd job he had just landed.
He even went a step further and took Wade to fill out paperwork for the job. As if that wasn't enough, Brimmer brought Wade to work with him that day.
He captured that moment in a picture that's been posted to Facebook and shared more than 8,000 times.
Brimmer owns A-Team Exteriors, a new company that's just had two jobs at this point. But even though he owns a small company, Brimmer felt compelled to provide work for Wade.
"My intent for that post was to get him full time work," Brimmer said. "What touched me the most was a phone call he gave me a few days later just begging to come back to work. He said 'I'm so thankful for you Adam. Man, I love you,' and that touched my heart."
Wade is grateful for Brimmer's assistance.
"He's a good friend. You know, he trusted me and everything. He gave me a second chance," Wade said. "Some people need second chances in life."
Wednesday is the second time Wade has worked for Brimmer's company, but Brimmer said they don't have enough work now to make the job a permanent one. He's hoping Wade will continue to find work with others.
"You know, you ain't always gotta pay me. Just say a prayer for me and I know things is gonna work out," Wade said.
To get in touch with Brimmer or Wade for potential work opportunities, call 810-449-2520.
"To pick somebody up like that that's in need, you think bad habits or something or this or that. No, he's just had rough luck, and here he is working now," Brimmer said.