Good Neighbors

Group Rallies to Help Homeless Friend Get Back on His Feet

When they saw their old friend was struggling in a big way, they sprang into action.

In 1971, Coy Featherston was voted "Best All Around Guy" in his high school yearbook. Featherston was the star of the King High School football team in Corpus Christi, TX and he got into the University of Texas on a sports scholarship. He later worked for legendary rock musician Frank Zappa as a roadie.

Today, he's homeless.

Featherston, now 68, fell on hard times over 20 years ago. His brother was murdered and shortly after that Featherston lost his job and his apartment. He's been living on the streets in Austin, TX and Atlanta, GA ever since.

After a photo of him pushing a cart with his belongings through the streets of Austin was published on the cover of the American-Statesman earlier this month, it appears his luck started to change.

(Source: KRIS-TV )

When Lee Mechling saw the photos in the Statesman, she was shocked. One of Featherson's former high school classmates, Mechling couldn't believe that her old friend was sleeping on the streets just a few miles north of where she works in Austin.

She jumped in her truck the next day and drove to Austin, and after four days of searching, she found her long lost friend feeding some pigeons outside of a church near the university. She gave Featherson a hug, bought him breakfast and helped him pack his belongings into her truck.

"You can't let things linger when you see something like this," Mechling, 65, told The Washington Post . "You've got to rally the troops and jump right in."

(Source: Don Vanderburg )

When news got out about Featherston, others stepped up to help. Don Vanderburg, invited him to stay at his home in Lago Vista, a community northwest of Austin. It was the first time Featherson had slept on a mattress in 20 years.Another high school friend, Patrick Judd, started a GoFundMe page to help pay for things like shelter, food and clothes for Featherston. The page has raised over $14,000 to date.

The group of reunited friends is committed to helping Featherston get back on his feet. Along with the fundraiser, they're working on getting him proper identification so that he can sign up for Medicare and Social Security benefits. They plan to use some of the funds they raise to get Featherston enrolled in counseling and help him find a job.

"Coy is a smart guy with a real gift for art and music," Judd wrote on the GoFundMe page.

"What we're doing is to show him he's still deep in our heart of hearts...always." - Patrick Judd

As for the "Best All Around Guy" of King High School's 1971 graduating class, Featherston is grateful, and is taking each day as it comes.

"This is going to work," Featherston said. "I'm hoping that it will, and that's all I can do. I can only be positive about everything."

You can donate to Featherston's recovery fund by visiting the GoFundMe page .

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