Homeless Man Beaten By Strangers Finds New Life - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

03/28/05

Homeless Man Beaten By Strangers Finds New Life

A homeless man who was severely beaten is getting back on his feet. In January, 46-year-old Paul Huff and four other homeless men were attacked when they returned to the campsite where they lived in a wooded area of Pascagoula.

Huff, the only one seriously injured in the attack, received two broken bones and multiple cuts and bruises. He had just started a job and was one week away from being able to afford a place to live.

By breaking his left arm and left leg, Paul Huff's attackers took away his ability to work. But they didn't stop there. They torched his tent, destroying the few possessions he had inside, and his plans to get out of the woods.

"I was feeling pretty hopeless in the ICU unit right there. I was kinda like I was just about ready to give up."

Huff was beaten, broken and ready to throw in the towel. His mood quickly changed when complete strangers began offering to help him recover.

"Overwhelmed really. That was totally unexpected and made me feel secure, you know, like there's some people out there that really cared anyway. I had gotten to the point that I really didn't think there was people like that around anymore."

For Huff, life is good these days. His injuries have almost healed. Some local businessmen donated a home to him. Northrop Grumman is holding his pipe fitting job for him. And several area churches have provided him with food and clothes, but most of all, they've given Paul Huff hope of returning to a normal life.

"People might not be able to relate but, you know, not living in what I call a normal American lifestyle is... I miss that a whole lot. Because of all the help I've gotten, I've been able to kind of live that way."

The only obstacle standing in Huff's way now is the one month recovery period he has to wait before returning to work.

"I just gotta be patient and it'll all come to me eventually."

Pascagoula Police are still looking for 22-year-old Matthew Barnestable in connection with Huff's attack. Anyone with any information on Barnestable's whereabouts should call the Pascagoula Police Department (228) 762-2211.

by Josh Ridgdell

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