Man Facing Homelessness Given Second Chance by Restauranteur, Host Big Al Mack

After plans fall through to move to Illinois, man finds a second chance in Waxahachie

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James Mees is making meals for folks at Big Al's Down The Hatch restaurant in Waxahachie. But just a few days back Mees didn't know where his own next meal was coming from.

"I had a whole six days between getting evicted from the hotel," James Mees said.

Mees quit a job he was working because he was planning to move back to Illinois with friends but that fell through. Mees was stuck with no job and not able to pay rent where he was staying.

"I'm not going to sit here and say I wasn't afraid,” Mees said. “I was scared to death. I didn't want to sleep on the streets again. I've done that before. It's not fun."

Mees added, "I prayed. That's all I could do. Nothing in this world is in our hands. It's in god's hands so I said my prayers."

That’s where Al Mack comes in. He owns the restaurant.

"The biggest thing right now is just finding employees that want to work," Big Al’s Down The Hatch owner Al Mack said.

He's also a well-known radio personality from the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.  Mack didn't know Mees' situation. He only knew that Mees was eager to work.

"He was 10 minutes early for his interview,” Mack said. “He was 10 minutes early his first day of work."

Later he learned that Mees was facing homelessness. So, Mack took things a step further. He found Mees a place to rent and even paid his deposit and first month’s rent to keep him off the streets.

"This is simply a man trying to help another man when he's down and out, just going through a hard time, and God putting it on your heart to try and help somebody," Mack said.

Which is exactly what Mees needed.

"It's like God answered the prayers that I was praying man," Mees said.  "It might not be the biggest thing to him, but this meant the world to me," Mees added while wiping away tears.

It's been an emotional journey for both men.  A path Mack encourages others to take.

"Yes we should all try to help each other,” Mack said. “We got two hands. One to lift ourselves up and one to help somebody else."      

Mack isn’t asking Mees to pay him back.  He only wants him to pay it forward.

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