MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - It may seem like an unlikely friendship between Tarec Atkinson, homeless for the past four years, and Adam August, a tech sales rep in Marin County.
August says he would see Tarec hanging out at Starbucks in Marin City, and one day decided to talk to him.
"He doesn't have a lot of support. I wanted to help," said August who lives in Sausalito.
"I was iffy about the approach. The more we talked the more he showed me he wanted to help me help myself," said Tarec Atkinson.
Tarec , who was born in Jamaica, lives in a tent on wet ground near Highway 101. He said he lost his job a few years ago.
"From there, it’s a downslide for me. I never recovered," said Tarec.
August took Tarec to his home and let him use the shower.
He bought him clean clothes, and drove him to stores in the area to look for work.
The Safeway in Mill Valley hired him to stock produce.
"I was excited because this is me starting all over again. This is my life," said Tarec.
"It was an incredible feeling, seeing him walk out of Safeway. A huge smile on his face," said August.
But the story does not end happily ever after at Safeway. Tarec never showed up for work and was fired. He said he was too self-conscious about being homeless.
"I didn't have somewhere I could rest my head at night, where I could clean up and smell properly, represent myself on the job. From there it went back down," he said.
The lesson August says he learned: Sometimes it takes more than a job to get out of homelessness.
He has set up a Gofundme page to raise money so Tarec can get an apartment, then perhaps a job.
"If you don't have a home it is build anything on top of that," August said.
"I am very optimistic to see something change in my situation," said Tarec.
And his friend still believes in him.
"I love Tarec. I really do," he said.
Here is the link to the gofundme account.