Air date: September 22, 2011
An Episode of “The Heart of Detroit”, hosted by Mitch Albom: Today we’re going to meet a man who used to eat from garbage bins and sleep on the ground here in this park. But he’s now found multiple ways to give back to the city. Riggins: “My life was filled with drugs, and all kinds of vice. I just couldn’t get past where I was. I lived on the street for 2 1/2 years.” Albom: “You would acually have to take food out of a trash dumpster to eat?” Riggins: “Yeah. I kept a garbage bag in my back pocket, and collected.” Riggins turned his life around with one visit to Detroit Rescue Mission, followed by many more. And now his days are only about giving back to others. He’s program manager at a shelter. He pastors a small church. He even leads a choir of once homeless men and women. He also coaches an unusual track team of children, some of whom have known homelessness themselves. Albom: “If the 1986 Carl Riggins walked in, in front of 2011’s Carl Riggins, what would you tell him?” Riggins: “Hey, listen. Hold on. There’s something for you. Don’t leave before the miracle happens.” Carl Riggins was once a statistic. Now he’s a voice for change – a beautiful voice. [singing] Riggins: “I’m thanking God for where I am. I’m really grateful that He’s given me this opportunity to live two lifetimes in one.” Carl Riggins, once homeless, now part of the heart of Detroit.