Mike Karl has touched the hearts of thousands in the Lansing area with his mission to help the homeless get off the streets. He has put a face to the problem of homelessness in our area and has shown how the actions of one individual can spark a movement.
People have started to not only follow this man’s mission on Facebook; they’ve stepped forward by the hundreds to lend their support.
“It’s becoming such a community outreach,” Karl said. “Everybody is helping everybody.”
For the last three years, Karl, an Eaton Rapids resident, has spent one week each November living on the streets among the homeless in Lansing — a place he found himself for six months in 2005. Since finding the resources to get past the depression and shame of being homeless, he has vowed to help as many people find the help they need to get back on their feet.
This year, through the help of social media and a lot of newspaper and television exposure, Karl is helping more people than ever before. In the past month alone, he has found the resources to help 32 people get off the streets, including a pregnant mother this past Wednesday.
He has a small army of people ready and willing to help. Karl said he has an angel or two assigned to each person helped so far.
“They are all housed and there are more and more people rallying around me everyday to help these people,” Karl said. “Every day I’m getting emails from families asking for help finding their loved ones on the street. If they are willing and ready we get them off the street.”
Karl’s mission has always been to get as many people off the streets as possible, but he never expected his efforts to reach this many people. He has started the Homeless Angels of Lansing Facebook group where people can find out who’s being helped and what resources are needed to continue the effort. Karl said people can also follow him on Facebook to learn more about the best way to help the effort. People can also donate to Karl’s effort online at GoFundMe.com/HomelessAngels.
Karl said he never intended on getting recognition for what he’s doing, he simply understands what some of these people are going through and he loves to see the smiles on people’s faces when they receive the resources they need.
“They just want a new chance and it’s amazing when they get that,” Karl said.