A cell phone video shot by documentary filmmaker Tyler Mann has gone viral.
Mann spotted a homeless man named Obediah playing his guitar outside of a gas station in Austin, Texas and filmed their conversation.
“This man, Obediah, changed my life overnight,” wrote Mann.
Obediah explains that he once lived a comfortable life as a family man and contractor until he was convicted of felony drug possession.
He discusses the backwards nature of being able to vote for the president yet not even be able to rent an apartment because of his criminal past in America – the land of second chances.
After deciding to live in a tent with a carefree attitude, Obediah says he just wanted to get by doing something he loves instead of living the average middle-class life.
He continues to lament how the Internet replaced real human relationships and how living as a homeless person showed him how hurtful people can be.
“There are so many beautiful things in life,” he says. “Relationships are beautiful! But nobody wants relationships!”
Mann has set up a fundraising page for Obediah which has raised over $3,000 as of Wednesday night. The filmmaker says he hopes to surprise Obediah with not only the funds, but by showing him that there are people in the world who do care.
The video ends with Obediah offering Mann a nugget of hope.
“We can all make a negative influence in somebody’s life but if we can be a positive difference in somebody’s life and make them think for a minute, maybe there is something worth caring about.”