Former homeless woman now helping others

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A woman who was homeless for 10 years is helping others help themselves.

Margaret Torres is on her feet early each morning.

"Most of the homeless people, when they see me, they say, 'Mama Margaret, Mama Margaret," Torres said.

She walks around downtown and helps connect people living on the streets with local shelters. She knows what it's like to suffer alone on the streets. After developing a brain tumor in 2000, she found herself deep in debt.

"I didn't have any support from my family," Torres said, "The Lord, United Way and the shelters kept me alive."

Now Torres helps keep others alive. She met Keith Odion a few years ago and helped him off the streets.

"I just didn't know what to do, and Margaret, she gave me direction, 'You gotta go do this, gotta do this,'" Odion said, "Step by step, I started doing that and the rest is a long story, you know."

Torres went above and beyond for Odion. They're roommates now in a small apartment on the east side.

"Keith and I go to the food pantry and we pick up food pantry food," Torres said, "And when neighbors and friends call us and say their pantry is empty, we make a bag."

The giving spirit comes full circle for Torres. She is always looking for the next opportunity to lend a helping hand.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.