GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Six dollars and six minutes of conversation have helped a homeless Greensboro man start his journey back to stability, and now the woman who helped him hopes others do the same.
Haywood Gallaway did not have a typical journey to adulthood, but rather one with a road paved in setbacks and potholes.
The 35-year-old spent 10 years living inside homeless camps off and on.
In 2019, while he held a steady job, he lost his father. Shortly after he lost his job, and found himself living in a tent in a wooded part of Greensboro.
He spent the next year standing outside of a car wash station on Battleground Avenue, asking people for money.
Among those who passed him every day was Cherry Lopez.
“Yeah, I’ve been beating myself up for a year, for never stopping before,” she said.
However, during the final weekend of July, Lopez did decide to stop and speak with Haywood.
“I had some cash on me, so I stopped to give it to him. Then, I just began to ask him questions about himself,” Lopez said.
Lopez quickly learned that she and Haywood were around the same age, grew up watching the same TV shows, and had a lot in common. However, their paths after high school were very different.
“I’m class of ’03, he’s class of ’04. So, we were kind of on the same timeline, it just shows that his life and my life went in different ways, but that was only because of the people around us,” she said.
Haywood told Lopez that he was looking for a place to take a shower, get a haircut, buy new clothes, and enough money to open up a bank account ($25) in order to be accepted at his potential job.
Lopez then went home, called up some friends, and posted Haywood’s story on Instagram.
Within a matter of a few days, enough donations came through to help Haywood not only get clothes, a haircut, and a bank account, but enough cash to put him up in a motel for the next seven weeks.
“I would have never imagined that my $6 that I started with, would’ve been able to contribute to where he can actually get on his feet,” she said.
Haywood also had his job application accepted at the same car wash he stood in front of for the past year.
“The whole moral of the story here is each one, teach one. It doesn’t take a lot. It doesn’t take an organization necessarily. The moral is to have moral. My $6 stretched further than what he or I expected,” Lopez said.