BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue police are being credited with helping a homeless man off the street.
But for William "Brid" Fleming, the four walls and a roof is more than just a home. It represents hope.
"It's unreal. It's something I didn't think was going to happen again in my life," Fleming said.
Fleming moved into this tiny home at Camp Second Chance, a city-sanctioned homeless encampment in southwest Seattle, four months ago.
Before that, he had been living in an RV in Bellevue for three years. Police gave him tickets, warnings, even towed his car.
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But now, he's giving officers credit for helping him turn his life around.
"Over the last few years, Bellevue Police Department has been an incredible influence in my life. I just started seeing the way and officers weren't what I thought they were," Fleming added.
One of those officers is Darlene Wallace. She worked hard to gain his trust.
"It takes a long time to get people out of their safe zone. I try to put myself into their shoes, how it feels like to not have your vehicle, not have your home. I try to have that approach and not just have a hard line you need to get off the street kind of approach," explained Wallace.
Once she broke through with Fleming, she connected him with The Sophia Way, an organization that helps homeless people.
From there, he moved into his tiny home, which is run by the Low-Income Housing Institute.
"It's like you wait long enough, pray hard enough. Sometimes good things come I guess," Fleming said.
Brid wasn't sure he had any "good things" coming his way after he became homeless 12 years ago. An injury on the job left him unable to work. His wife died. He said he became addicted to prescription pain pills and eventually street drugs.
But now he's clean. He's got a job and reconnected with his family. He's working on his health. Even has a cat. And he's sharing his story to give hope to others.
"That's what I've been given here. A second chance at life," Fleming said.
Fleming said he believes it's just a matter of time before he gets into permanent housing.
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