Eufaula Woman Comes To Aid Of 21-Year-Old With No Home Or ID

Tuesday, January 15th 2013, 11:21 pm
By: News On 6

Imagine spending Christmas sleeping outside, in a homemade shelter, in freezing temperatures.

That's what happened to a 21-year-old in Eufaula, but he's now safe and his life is starting to turn around thanks to a complete stranger.

"I cleared a pathway to get to it," said Michael Lyles, standing just steps away from where he spent one of the worst nights of his life.

It's a homemade shelter fashioned after something he learned from the TV show "Man vs. Wild."

"Underneath of this is nothing but dirt, is what I was sleeping on—nothing but dirt," Lyles said.

He spent this past Christmas night in this shelter, in two inches of snow and 16 degree weather.

It's made of whatever he could find.

"I found pieces of oak, baby bed frame, some foam, and some plastic, and I just put it all together," Lyles said.

Lyles stayed here, because he essentially fell off the grid. He was in DHS custody, off-and-on, from the time he was 4 years old. By 17, he had enough and set off on his own, but that didn't work out, either.

"It was just like I was in DHS again. I kept moving from place to place to place, because every time I try to get help: dead end," Lyles said.

The day after Christmas, things turned around when he met Trish Ware.

She said he came in with nothing but a holey pair of jeans.

Ware took Lyles into her home, bought him clothes, and made sure he had food.

"In just three weeks, she's helped me more than everybody else I've met down here in four years," Lyles said.

Since he quit DHS before he turned 18, he never got his essential documents, including his birth certificate and Social Security card.

Ware is helping him with those now, and he's just a few days from having his first photo ID.

"One day I'm sleeping in something like this and the next day I feel like I'm part of a family," Lyles said.

But Ware said Lyles is the one who's blessed her family with his can-do spirit. She said he has changed her life.

"That's my wake-up call right there. He makes me appreciate things ain't so bad, even if I think they are, it'll be alright," Ware said.

Lyles hopes to start Vo-Tech classes soon.

He has dreams of working in construction and maybe someday being an architect.