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Homeless man gets jobs, sees mother

UPI News Service, 01/06/2011 

A homeless man whose YouTube video was seen by more than 5 million people, now has work and is visiting his 92-year-old mother in New York, officials said.

Ted Williams was hustling for change at the side of the road in Columbus, Ohio, when an enterprising reporter discovered his baritone speaking voice, the New York Daily News reported.

"One of my biggest prayers that I sent out was that she (mother) would live long enough ... to see me rebound or whatever, and I guess God kept her around and kept my pipes around to maybe just (I) have one more shot," Williams said on CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday.

The sudden rise to fame also surprised his mother, Julia Williams, who still lives in the East Flatbush apartment in New York where she raised her children.

Williams' ex-wife, Patricia Kirtley, called his mother to tell her about her son.

"She didn't believe it until I called her. She is so overwhelmed," said Kirtley, 58, who had five children with Williams, 53. "I think she does not want him to mess it up. She said this is an opportunity and a second chance."

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch posted the video that resulted in Williams' second chance at life.

"Alcohol and drugs and a few other things became a part of my life. I've got two years clean, and I'm trying hard to get it back," Williams said in the video. "And hopefully somebody from one of these television or radio stations will say, 'Hey, I need a voice-over.'"

Since his story became public, Williams has had several job offers.

Shane Cormier, a Los Angeles talent agency owner, sent the newspaper an e-mail offering to represent Williams and claiming the agency "could make him a millionaire," the Dispatch said.

Williams' trip to New York was delayed briefly because he didn't have proper identification, but he eventually made the trip.

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