Shezad Zaman owns Direct Auto Cars in Birmingham, UK, a business that not only washes cars but works on them as well.
But this is also a place where the staff is like a family. Every Christmas, the employees go out of their way to give food to homeless people in the center of the city.
And in January 2018, Zaman didn’t have to go far to help someone in need.
Recently, on Zaman’s way to work, he would always see a man staying at the same spot at a stoplight across from the shop.
It was a homeless man.
“He would be collecting money by the traffic lights,” Zaman told Birmingham Mail.
The fact that this man was there every single day trying to collect change increasingly concerned him.
So he did something about it.
“I thought if I wasn’t going to help him, who would?”
One day, Zaman went up to the man to ask him a question.
Zaman offered for the man to come work at his garage in order to earn his money.
The 23-year-old man’s name is Kriss Wilkes, and he hadn’t had the best luck leading up to his recent situation.
In the past, he’s spent time in both jail and prison, and after his father passed, he began traveling all over the United Kingdom, eventually ending up in Birmingham. When he was out of a job, he couldn’t find one due to being homeless.
Therefore, he was stuck.
“I used to sleep rough in shop doorways,” he said.
He resorted to sleeping at random places in town at this time, including in his car.
He was addicted to crack cocaine as well, and he would beg at the stoplight for money to buy these drugs. And deep down, he had always wanted to change his life for the better.
This is where Zaman came in. And once Wilkes was given the opportunity, he didn’t squander it.
In the two weeks that he was initially given, Wilkes did everything he could to prove that he could stay, dealing cars along with restoring and cleaning them. Despite the situation he came from, he worked hard to earn his keep.
He impressed Zaman enough to get a permanent part-time position with the garage.
Not only was Wilkes also given shoes and clothes, but Zaman gave him a room in one of his son’s houses to live in.
This process helped Wilkes become clean of drugs, and has made him the happiest he’s been in a long time.
“I’m glad I got the chance I got,” Wilkes told BBC Midlands. “It was the best day of my life.”
To make things even crazier, Wilkes told ITV Central that he was considering suicide the day that Zaman talked to him. And now, only weeks later, he’s clean and has a bed to sleep in; he doesn’t plan on going back to the way things were before.
Zaman will have the man work for him until he’s good enough to get back up on his feet again. But until then, Wilkes is a part of the Direct Auto Cars family.
The owner at the time was just doing what he thought was the right thing. Wilkes not only had his life saved, but is now one step closer to getting his life back on track.