A teen who lost her home and dropped out of school is back on the path to education. Tamara Outlaw was a 16-year-old sophomore when she quit Holt High School to help care for her mother, who has multiple sclerosis. It was around Christmas 2016 when they were asked the leave the home of a friend who had taken them in. Tamara started a Go Fund Me page to pay for a new place to live. Eventually, she and her mom moved into a duplex in Lansing with the help of a federal program aimed at ending chronic homelessness. Tamara continues to be resourceful. Last week, she received her GED certification, which is a high school equivalency credential and a gateway to college. “A lot of people let little things get them down. I don’t want that to be me,” she said.
Officer Tommy Norman says he was destined to drive down that specific road in North Little Rock on June 13th. Because what he encountered was something only he could turn into a story of hope and kindness.
On the side of the road, laying on the sidewalk, was a pregnant woman. She was sleeping on the concrete and her toddler daughter was asleep on her chest. North Little Rock Police Officer Tommy Norman didn’t know what he was looking at. When he approached the pair and soon learned their story, he knew he was meant to be the person to find them.
They were homeless after fleeing a domestic abuse situation in March. Jessica was pregnant with a little boy, and due any day. She and her daughter had already stayed the maximum amount of time at a local women’s shelter. But when they ended up with nowhere to go, Jessica figured a public place would be the safest place to sleep.
Officer Norman immediately scooped them up and took them to a local motel. Videos that Officer Norman posted to his social media pages of that morning show a tired mother and a confused little girl. His social media posts started to go viral, and people around the world wanted to know how they could help. Clothes, shoes, diapers, and toys started arriving every day. Jessica and Kayla now had food to eat and beds to sleep in.
Officer Norman’s videos of the pair started to show a transformation. Jessica was smiling. Kayla was a different child. She was transforming into a happy, playful, bouncing two-year-old.
Just days after their meeting with Officer Norman, Jessica gave birth to baby Xavier. Now the little motel room houses a family of three, packed in tight with box after box of donations from kind people around the world.
He is faster than a speeding stroller, more adorable than a kitten, and able to get a stranger's attention with a single courtesy. This is America's latest superhero -- and the only superhero with the power to feed the homeless. By day, Austin Perine is a mild-mannered 4-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama. But once a week, he turns into this alter ego: a superhero set on feeding as many homeless people as possible. He likes to go by the name "President Austin."