On September 19, 2015, Tierra Gray and her two sons were evicted from their home. With nowhere to go and desperate to find shelter for the night, the family ended up taking refuge in the waiting room of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Local 12 News, the boys slept curled up in the chairs.
But Tierra was awake—praying for a miracle.
“I was just like Lord, what is it that I am supposed to do?” she told WLWT. “My kids are here sleeping inside of a jail lobby. I never thought I’d go through that, I mean, to that point. That right there was my breaking point.”
As morning arrived, she feared for the worst: Where would they go? Would the police take away her children?
Instead, her prayers were answered—by Deputy Brian Bussell.
When Officer Bussell saw the family in the office the next morning, he first thought nothing of it. “I assumed they were here to visit someone in our jail,” he said in a Facebook post.
“When I walked back out a while later, the children were asleep, and the lady was still sitting there,” he added. It was then he approached the family.
Bussell didn’t ask them to leave, as Gray assumed he would. Instead, according to WLWT, the two spoke about “life and God.”
It was then Bussell knew he had to help the family get back on their feet.
“He told me that he was going to help and that we were going to get everything we need taken care of, and I just cried,” Gray told WLWT.
“Thank God, you are the angel I have been praying for all night.”
Bussell first made calls to local homeless shelters the family could stay temporarily, but that turned out to not be an option.
“Most of the shelters were overcrowded or there was a time requirement to be there and we were past that,” Bussell explained on Facebook.
So Bussell did something amazing: he checked them in to a local Comfort Inn for 10 days—on his own dime.
Not only that, he took them to Walmart to stock up on essentials, also all at his own expense. According to the Facebook post, the boys asked if they could get shoes, and the officer replied “absolutely.”
But he didn’t do it to be a hero.
In the age of social media and self-posting, it’s easy to assume Bussell was motivated by internet fame, that he’d appear as a good samaritan. But that wasn’t the case—he was genuinely doing it out of kindness, no questions asked.
According to a Facebook post from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, Bussell didn’t publicize his good deeds—his coworkers only found out later when they saw mention of it on social media.
Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones is very proud of one of his own for helping a homeless family. Deputy Brian…
“This is a true act of kindness,” Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones shared on the Facebook post. “He did not tell anyone at work what he had done but the lady took a picture with him and posted it on Facebook.”
According to Inside Edition, Gray wrote in her post “God has blessed us this week and I don’t know what I would have done.”
“It was shared so many times that I got a phone call asking if I knew what a generous gesture my deputy did,” Jones continued, adding that he’s grateful that law enforcement was receiving such positive publicity.
“This is not the first time, by far, that he’s done this, and it’s certainly not going to be the last,” fellow officer Melissa Gerhardt told Local 12. “He’s got a very giving heart.”
And the story has an even happier ending.
The family’s hotel stay was an incredible remedy to their homeless situation, but to really get back on their feet, they’d need a home of their own.
And Officer Bussell was there to help them with that, too.
According to Inside Edition, Bussell helped the family find a new apartment—and was there to surprise the boys with their new place.
“I can see the balcony!” one boy says.
“This one’s mine,” the other adds, claiming a room for himself.
“It’s nice, it’s a nice feeling,” Bussell said of his good deeds. “They’re happier than they were a week ago.”
But for Tierra, the experience was truly a life-changing miracle: