A Silsbee man battling homelessness now has a home thanks to the generosity of Southeast Texans.
38-year-old Wayne Istre Jr. is a mechanic at Silsbee Muffler and Tire and has worked there for less than two years. Family issues forced him out of his home three years ago.
“I went to jail about three times over the lack of paying child support because I didn’t have a job, I couldn’t find a job,” Istre said.
The owner of Silsbee Muffler and Tire offered Istre a job. Istre says his transportation would not bring him to work on time.
“So I decided the only way to stop that is to be around here that way all I had to do is go straight to work so I started sleeping on my car behind the shop, which didn’t run, it needed work,” Istre said.
Istre eventually moved into a tent behind the shop, where he eats, bathes and sleeps.
Istre’s 10-year-old son Dylan often visited with his father. Istre’s money went towards child support payments, food and occasionally donating to Jessica Jackson, a clerk at F.O.C. in Silsbee.
"I had been giving her 20 dollars a week or every payday or so, at the store where she was working because she was going through her own struggle," Istre said.
Jackson posted on Facebook asking the community to help Istre.
“I had about eight people pull up behind this shop and dropped off food and donations, a tent, a bicycle," Istre said.
A Buna couple also donated a camper to Istre. A home is what his son was asking for his father.
"I asked him what he wanted for Christmas this year and it broke my heart when he gave me the answer because the answer was he wants me to have a home," Istre said.
Istre says he plans to find a property to park his trailer and buy a working car.