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About Homelessness

Homeless man’s music captivates nation, reconnects him with son (news roundup)

Here at Portland Rescue Mission, one of the greatest joys of what we do is to witness transformation in the lives of men, women and kids. From the moment someone steps into our New Life Ministries at either The Harbor or Shepherd’s Door, to the time they experience their graduation celebration, evidence of their past life becomes a fading memory. Our graduates often see their lives completely changed. As staff members, it is an absolute delight to be a part of that process. So, naturally, as we are working with this population, there are certain stories in the world that catch our attention…

Such as this one….

Recently, in Sarasota (Florida), one homeless man was discovered with an incredible gift. After spending 15 years homeless on the streets, Donald “Boone” Gould sat down at a piano and started playing Styx song, “Come Sail Away“. Caught on video and uploaded to YouTube, Donald’s piano playing was so beautiful that it went viral and earned him national attention.

Since then, his story has captivated millions. See the video of him playing the piano below, and then see how his story has unfolded since then:

Not realizing just how big his story had become, or how many people had watched his video, here is Donald’s interview after the first video:

Shortly thereafter, Donald’s world became even bigger. On top of his video going viral, Donald was offered a full-ride scholarship from Spring Arbor University to complete his music education degree and he received a makeover from the national show Inside Edition. But even more exciting than that, Donald got a chance to reconnect with his son he hasn’t seen since he was three years old. Watch their interaction here:

Since then, Donald has entered rehab and is working toward cleaning up his life and eventually reuniting with his son in person after his son said he wanted to help him “clean his act up.” Donald now has a Facebook page that someone set up for him, to share how his recovery is going.

Portland Rescue Mission’s Hope Ministries, Pathway Ministries and New Life Ministries, exist to bring hope and healing to men, women and children suffering from homelessness and addiction. Find out more about what it means for us to give hope and restore life.