Skip to main content

Homeless man Ted Williams may have talked his way into a new life

YouTube/Columbus Dispatch

When Ted Williams goes to work, he heads to a freeway exit ramp in Columbus, Ohio. In his hands he holds a weathered sign that says, "I have a God-given gift of voice." He's not kidding. When a reporter from a local paper recently rolled up to talk to the homeless man, Williams might not have known it, but he was on his way to finally getting back behind the mic.

The Columbus Dispatch posted the video interview with Williams online, which then led fans to share it on YouTube and rally on blogs to find him a gig. Not only does Williams have a fabulous FM voice, he tells videographer Doral Chenoweth that he also has some radio experience but hasn't worked in the field because of past problems with drugs and alcohol. The keyword here is past. Williams reveals to the journalist that he's been clean now for two years.

Whereas a few years ago Williams' story would likely have remained a local one-off feature, his tale has become known around the world as the YouTube video spreads via Twitter, Facebook and other social media. And it's already having an impact.

Story continues below advertisement

Radio and voiceover offers are starting to roll in for Williams. His first spot is as a guest this week on WNCI's Morning Zoo (based in Columbus, Ohio). The radio station says on their Twitter page that they're going to try to help Williams find some work.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this story, aside from a homeless man with a million dollar voice, is the Reddit pledge to help Williams. Contributors to the online news site are committing to buy Williams a phone, give him a suit, and the list of offers goes on and on (including voiceover gigs).

There's not a whole lot of information about where Williams is now, but if the web community has any influence they're going to make sure he gets off the streets forever, throws away his sign, and uses his voice to build a better life.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter