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Milwaukee Bus Driver Helps Homeless Man, Changes His Life

The story of a bus driver with the Milwaukee County Transit System is touching hearts all across the U.S. after she helped a homeless man survive a cold night and even found him a place to live.
Natalie Barnes receives MCTS Excellence award for incredible act of kindness during night shift 15 photos
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Natalie Barnes has been with the MCTS for 2 years and this is the second time she does something for which she’s presented with the MCTS Excellence award, the transit service says in a statement on the official website.

This time, she probably saved Richard’s life by allowing him to ride on the bus for 6 whole hours to keep warm, while she tried to find him a place to live. She eventually got him a temporary thing at an emergency shelter, but he was moved to a transition establishment, in preparation for moving to a place of his own.

Natalie knew Richard as a regular rider of hers, but on the night in question, he came bearing sad news: his house had been condemned and he was homeless for a week. Natalie offered to buy him dinner, which he refused, but he said yes to riding on the bus to keep warm.

Everything was captured on the surveillance cameras on the bus, and the footage is also available at the bottom of the page.

At one point, Natalie offered to grab some food again, and Richard accepted. During one of her layovers, she called friends and she eventually set Richard up for the night.

“We talk every couple of days and he thanks me every time he talks to me for helping him,” Barnes tells ABC News in an interview. “He calls me his little guardian angel. I’m happy to say that he’s progressing well.”

Understandably, MCTS is proud to have an employee whose kindness makes international headlines.

“Natalie’s kindness, compassion and respect for this man in need are what MCTS Excellence is all about,” County Executive Chris Abele says. “Across Milwaukee County, employees are focusing on empowering people and strengthening community, and we are investing resources throughout the County to reduce homelessness.”



 
 
 
 
 

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