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Our Friend, James

Meet James. James is a guy who is absolutely filled with passion. He is one of those people you sometimes hear about in life who simply can’t help but be excited about whatever God gives them. The beautiful thing about James’ view of the world is simply that he takes whatever life has given him and turns it into a blessing at best and a lesson at worst. Whatever he is facing, he seems to find hope in it. No matter the situation, James will try and make it work for himself.

We met James not too long ago through another friend of ours as they were staying at the same shelter. Since first coming into contact with The Human Impact, James has been plugged in. He often joins us on the streets and at our events. It’s not out of the ordinary for him to come to our Thursday prayer time or even just for him to drop by our offices and say hi. He even wrote us a song!

In fact, James writes lots of songs and feels it’s his truest calling. He’d love to someday be published by a major artist or solicited by a huge company for his work, but for now he is writing about what he knows and what calls to him. At this moment, that is mostly the people and places that are helping him get back on his feet, namely Austin Street Shelter.

James came to Austin Street in August when a t-shirt company he created (aimed at spreading the message of unity and peace) went bankrupt and he lost most of his savings. He had been writing songs and making videos on his phone for a while by that time but felt even more passionate about doing so after being at Austin Street. James says that he was surprised by what he found at the shelter—a positive environment, resources to help, and people invested in his success—so much so that he wrote a song about it. Soon after, with the blessing from the center, James found himself making a video for the song and is now working on a screenplay about his experience at the shelter.

However, James was not always focused on writing and making music. In fact, he states that where he grew up, in the small town of Italy, Texas, he was highly invested in gangs and violence. James reports growing up in a Christian home, but says it took being shot and seeing his sister die of relationship and gun violence right in front of him for him to really feel called to his faith. James knew that he could choose to escalate the violence as revenge for his sister’s death but instead felt encouraged to lean into forgiveness and love, a move that he says was wholly out of character with who he was at the time and the life he was living. Nevertheless, James felt called to grow in his faith and eventually started his t-shirt design company hoping to spread his message of togetherness and love.

Although that didn’t go as he had hoped, James feels it may have been the step that led him to the next part of his story (I told you this is James—where many of us might see roadblocks, he only sees detour signs that take him to his next great destination). Now, after several months living at Austin Street and working their program, James is only steps away from receiving housing. He will soon have a more private place to create and dream. He will no longer have to write his songs from his bunk or even from “his spot” in the busy community space at the shelter.

However, if we know James, we know that he will no doubt keep writing wherever he goes next.

You can view James’ song and video about Austin Street Center here:

And read the song he wrote about The Human Impact here:

THI Rap lyrics:


Verse I: The Human Impact in the street with our Homeless friends is where you can find us at.

It’s where our hearts are at week after week. We keep going back and that’s a fact.

We LOVE our friends, like they LOVE in the book of Acts

Hook: The human Impact in the streets with our homeless friends is where you can find us at

It’s where our hearts are at…The Human Impact

Verse II: Our mission to befriend the homeless bridge, the relation Gap we’ve been doing that over seven years,

we’ve been going back. We THANK GOD for that. We know GOD LOVES us, the community they TRUST us. We’re building long term relationships. Our 5 step process, 1-3 years, we Praise God for that, It’s the Human Impact

Hook: The human Impact in the streets with our homeless friends is where you can find us at

It’s where our hearts are at…The Human Impact

Verse III: In the streets with our friends we LOVE them making a difference providing. We LOVE to see them thriving a new life and Glory to the LORD. He loves that it’s the Human Impact

Hook: The human Impact in the streets with our homeless friends is where you can find us at

It’s where our hearts are at…The Human Impact.

Written By: James Johnson

January 5, 2023

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