DALLAS — Laterras R. Whitfield is more than a man with a unique name.
He’s an entertainer, a writer, a Christian, and a man who tells stories about people whose names you may have never cared to know.
“I see this going viral,” Whitfield told NewsFix about his new passion, the HomeBless Life. “My main objective is for it to actually be a viable reality show on a major network. I wanna go across the country.”
No roses, no house guests, no competitions, no island paradise. All Laterras cares about is kindness.
“The whole mission of what I do is for everybody to be empowered to be a blessing in any way that you see, but be a blessing,” he said.
When Whitfield went under I-45 in Dallas and into the homeless camp below, he was on a mission.
“I was writing a play about the homeless,” he said. “Came out here and started interviewing some homeless people to get some research.”
It was a particularly personal project for the North Texas native.
“My brother, I haven’t seen him in about 14 years. He’s homeless,” Whitfield said. “When his birthday comes up, July 12, I always say, ‘Wow, I hope he’s alive.’ I always have these nightmares at times thinking about that.”
A near-death experience brought his brother back to him all those years ago, but their reunion only lasted about a week before Day Moss disappeared again.
The combination of his brother and the play he was writing got him down there, but it was a homeless man named Alvin who ultimately impacted Laterras.
“His tent was real small, and he was telling me about when he had to bathe himself he had to lay on his back to wash off,” Whitfield said. “I was like, ‘You know what, I can get you a tent.’ I didn’t know how much tents cost, but I said, ‘I can definitely get you a tent.'”
That’s when his feeling of morality turned to reality. His new mission started with a single tent.
“We gonna call this Extreme Home Makeover: Tent Edition,” Laterras laughed while shopping for Alvin’s new tent in Episode 1 of his web series, HomeBless Life.
And it truly was. From the 6’5″ tent, to the camp stove, the chair, and even a bathroom, Alvin had it all.
It was a meaningful day for Laterras, but that was it, just one day.
Or so he thought.
“Word got around the city of what I was doing, and they were like, ‘Hey, when’s the next one?’ I was like, ‘Well, there’s not a next one. This is the only one I’m gonna do.'”
That got him thinking. Soon after, a new path presented itself.
The HomeBless Life.
“Created my web series that launched in January. The whole web series is about doing random acts of kindness for the homeless community to make them feel loved, make them feel appreciated,” he explained.
It started with Alvin’s tent. Then he took nearly 30 homeless women on a date. It included makeovers, dinner, and most importantly, attention.
But what does the word ‘HomeBless’ mean to its creator?
“Even in the lowest predicament, the lowest situation that they’re in, they’re still blessed because they still have life,” Whitfield said. “As long as we have life we have the opportunity to change. We have the opportunity to better our lives. We have the opportunity to transform and be a testimony.”
In the best times and the worst, Laterras says he’ll always under promise and over deliver for Dallas’ homeless, leaving those under the bridge overwhelmed with hope.
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