What’s Up South Texas!: Man turns dark past of homelessness into opportunity to serve the homeless

Lee Edwards started New Day New Way four months ago

San Antonio – A San Antonio man is turning his dark past of homelessness into an opportunity to motivate and inspire others in the homeless community.

Lee Edwards, 52, is the founder of New Day, New Way, a nonprofit organization.

“It is a way that I think I could give back to people who need it,” Edwards said. “It is a brainstorm that came to me because I went down for some tax paperwork, but I saw this tent city. It touched me. When you see people on the corner, you want to give money.”

Edwards said seeing those people reminded him of where he came from.

“As I see those people, I go back to four years ago where I was one of those people,” Edwards said. “I was homeless, jobless and a drug addict. I was at the end of my rope. I know what it is like to be homeless, I know what it like to dig in trashcans and to be spit upon and be talked bad to.”

He said it was a call from his daughter that pushed him to want to change.

“I got a call from my daughter who said, ‘Pop, if you are ready to change your life around, I got a spot for you here in San Antonio.’ At that time, I realized I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Now, Edwards is a homeowner and has a great job that allows him to provide for his family.

He said the best thing he can do now is pay it forward to those who need it the most.

“God had blessed me abundantly over these past four years,” Edwards said. “I have to give back. This is a way to give joy to the homeless community. Cook them a hot meal to show them someone cares because that is what someone did for me when I was homeless.”

Since Edwards started the organization, he, his wife and several volunteers provide food, clothes and toiletries once a month to the homeless population. They even provide a live band.

“We are not going to eradicate homelessness or hunger,” Edwards said. “But we can make a difference somewhere. If you have enough people trying to make a difference, it could make a big difference. I hope this catches fire and becomes a movement where everybody gets out of their comfort zone and help.”

Edwards said more importantly, he hopes to feed people spiritually as well.

“Never settle,” Edwards said. “There is always a higher plateau to reach. Never be afraid to dream and dream big. Maybe one day this will spark something in someone else to do something. The meal is a byproduct of what my main focus is. I want for someone to get one day clean or one day sober. We are trying to change mindsets. We are trying to change attitudes. We are trying to change feelings.”

Edwards run his organization strictly by donations.

If you would like to make a donation to the organization you can donate at www.newdaynewway.net.

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About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray joined 10 News as an anchor in March 2022.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.