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After inspiring millions on YouTube, homeless veteran arrested

Change doesn’t happen overnight or with a new set of clothes


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

A homeless veteran who inspired millions with his heartwarming transformation video on YouTube is back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Jim Wolf was arrested in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Nov. 17 for trespassing and creating a disturbance at a Burger King, MLive reported.

He plead guilty to both of the misdemeanor charges and will serve 20 days in jail.

Wolf, who had served in the U.S. Army, had struggled with homelessness and alcoholism for years before he volunteered to undergo a makeover with Rob Bliss and Degage Ministries, which aims to help struggling veterans get back on their feet.

In the video, his hair was cut and dyed and he received new clothing that made him almost recognizable. A postscript explained that Wolf had started going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and was to receive housing.

But change doesn’t happen overnight or with a new set of clothes, and many warned that a makeover was only a small step in overcoming obstacles and bettering oneself.

“Addiction and homelessness is a complex condition,” Diane Birtles, director of shelter services at Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids, said. “It’s not solved as simply as the video might indicate.”

This isn’t the first time Wolf has been arrested. With a record of petty crime spanning over a decade, he was arrested just days after the original video shoot in September on disturbance charges. He was charged $400 and spent a couple days in jail.

H/T MLive | Photo via RobBlissCreative/YouTube

The Daily Dot