WILMINGTON — A former homeless man is getting his life on track.
During Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting, Mayor John Stanforth gave an update on John Llewlyn, a homeless man brought over from Brown County last July.
“When I met with him I found out he had no family here and his dad was in Washington state,” said Stanforth.
Llewlyn was found at the gazebo that was once at Point Park near Wilmington College. The gazebo was torn down due to it being structurally unsound, and it was also the location of vagrants and vandalism.
The mayor, Wilmington Police Chief Ron Cravens, and other city officials helped Llewlyn fly home to his father, and received news from Llewlyn recently.
“He’s gone through the 12-step program, he is now sober and has been sober,” Stanforth report. “He’s working a part-time job and it looks like he’s really turned his life around. So, there is hope for these people even when you think all is lost. Give them a chance.”
Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker told council he once saw Llewlyn when the homeless man “couldn’t put a sentence together.”
“Ten years in the prosecutor’s office, you know when someone is sober and when they’re not,” said Shidaker. “To hear his voice on this voicemail with Chief Cravens explaining how much better he’s doing and how blessed he is that the city helped him get back on his feet.”
Cravens told council about the voicemail he got from Llewlyn last week.
“He reached out to let us know he’s doing well and he appreciates every one of us that stepped former to help him, ” said Cravens.
Llewlyn had only asked one thing of the city in the voicemail, and that is to help him get his driver’s license back.
“I drafted a letter to a judge in Colorado that I had never met, but I explained to him my contacts that I’ve had with John Llewlyn and where he’s at, and that everyone deserves a second chance,” said Cravens.
Also, council approved:
• A resolution authorizing Shidaker to submit an application to the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for the Davids Drive project.
• Repealing the application guide to the City Revitalization Grant. This now gives power to the administration to come up with a selection process. Michael Snarr, Chair of the City Revitalization Committee, said this is being done to help get the money to organizations in need of it.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574