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Homeless man outside Outback Steakhouse now works there



  • A homeless man who fell asleep outside an Outback Steakhouse is now living a better life after being offered a job there.
  • After using a gift card given to him by a stranger, Kenneth Smith was offered a job by managing partner Laura Hodges.
  • The job has since opened up new opportunities for Kenneth, who hopes to have his own restaurant someday.

Fifty-year-old Kenneth Smith from Fort Worth, Texas, has become homeless after getting evicted from his apartment four years ago. One day, as he fell asleep outside an Outback Steakhouse, he had no idea that his life was about to change for the better.

A stranger tapped him on the shoulder to ask if he was alright. He said that he was starving, so she told him to wait there and went inside the restaurant.

Kenneth shared, “I thought she was going to go in there and call the police on me. She came back out and gave me a [$100] card. She told me to go in and have a meal.”

Upon using the gift card inside, he caught the attention of Outback managing partner Laura Hodges.

Photo Credit: Good Morning America

Laura told GMA, “I thought that was a really awesome thing that somebody did. I sat down with him while he was eating and talked to him, because he’s really great with people and he loves telling his story.”

Wanting to “pass forward the good favor,” Laura told Kenneth to “save that gift card” and come in whenever he wanted a hot meal.

A mentor-mentee kind of friendship soon grew between the two. Kenneth, who shared how hard it was to find work amid the pandemic, offered to do any odd jobs at the restaurant.

Laura shared, “He was never looking for handouts, he always wanted to earn money.”

So Kenneth soon started his job there as a busser.

Photo Credit: WFAA/YouTube

“I was so happy. I couldn’t believe it,” Kenneth recounted. “I feel good knowing that I have a job, knowing that I can smile, knowing that I can do good things.”

Kenneth can now afford housing thanks to his new job. But after his current motel started raising its rates, he asked Laura for assistance in finding affordable housing. So she asked a local foodie group for recommendations.

Instead of simply recommending a place, the group raised around $2,000 in a single day, while some people donated items such as gift cards for grocery stores, clothing, and a bike!


Kenneth felt “so honored and grateful” by the “awesome” acts of generosity. He now has a long-term goal: to become a chef of his own restaurant.

He said that his late grandmother was a “great cook” who taught him everything.

“I want to cook some good food and have people taste my food as well,” he shared.

Source: Good Morning America