FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Vince Munoz has a spark, something that you sense must have shaped him. Most people will never know the successful electrician, husband and father was homeless as a boy growing up in Fort Wayne.
“Most of the kids who are homeless are hidden. They don’t wear a sign that says, ‘Hey, I’m sleeping on a park bench. I’m bumming in somebody’s abandoned home.’ Nobody really knows who these kids are,” said Munoz.
At age 15, Vince was kicked out of his home by his mother and her new husband, a circumstance common for a lot of kids living on the streets according to Dr. Michel Sturm. Sturm is a Fort Wayne dentist and the founder of Pathways, a Fort Wayne nonprofit that funds housing, food and case workers for homeless teens. Vince Munoz was among the first kids Dr. Sturm helped. Pathways is still helping homeless kids today.
“Some of those kids I helped then are still like children of my own,” Dr. Sturm said.
“I do call him Pops,” said Munoz. “(He’s) my personal saint.”
Vince Munoz and Dr. Michel Sturm remain close. Vince is a self-made man, but he admits he wouldn’t have the life he has today were it not for Dr. Sturm.
Sturm refuses to turn a blind eye to the problem of homeless children. “Most people don’t want to get involved.” said Munoz. “(They wonder) what’s going to happen to my family if I let this kid into my home, but what is that risk worth?”
And what can taking that risk change for a homeless kid? Everything.
– To help a homeless teen find assistance contact Pathways Inc. or The Villages at 800.831.4154 or 260.423.6676 –