Once wealthy, now an East Texas man turns to PATH for help

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - They are still tens of thousands of dollars short of meeting their goal. But, officials say East Texans are stepping up in a big way. You are donating your time and money to keep the non-profit open. KLTV reported last week, that the organization PATH, or People Attempting to Help, is on the brink of having to close it's doors for good. But, those once saved by PATH are spreading the word, inspiring others to keep PATH alive.

It's Shane Richardson's fifth week on-air. The Urban Survivalist Show is a program "that helps families that are struggling through these tough economic times find help."

He is reaching out to East Texans who are losing hope and losing faith.

"I lost my company," said Richardson. "I had to let all of the employees go and closed the doors and it was a humbling experience."

For more than 12 years. Shane Richardson ran two East Texas car dealerships, making more than $250,000 a year.

"Until, I decided, 'I'm going to live the American dream and open my own company.'" said Richardson.

He started a sales training company called Support the Dream. He traveled the nation, teaching car salesman his tricks of the trade.

"[The] problem was that the automotive industry, as you know and many others know, went south," said Richardson.

And for him, so did everything else, and all at once.

"I'm fixing to become a millionaire, and now they're trying to repo my car out of my garage, and my big nice house that I've got, and then they started taking your house, and then you start selling stuff just to put food on the table," said Richardson.

Desperate times requiring desperate measures.

"It really hit home when I went home to PATH, because I used to be a donator to PATH," he said.

Richardson used to sell used cars at auctions, giving the proceeds to PATH. Now, PATH is helping to pay his bills.

"PATH is probably one of the biggest players of why I'm sitting here in this desk," he said.

Ironically, with his new show, the sun is starting to rise for Richardson. At the same time, things at PATH are looking dim.

"With PATH, when you give to those people, it's in our community and it stays in our community, and they help the people in our own backyard," said Richardson.

PATH says they are still about $100,000 short of their goal, so keep on donating. But, some good news, TXU and Home Depot recently partnered up and gave PATH 1,000 fans. If you're a TXU client that is unable to cool your home, head over to PATH and pick up a fan.

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