A homeless woman and her two children got the surprise of their lives when an Ohio police officer went out of their way to help them as they were sleeping in a waiting room in jail.
Deputy Brian Bussell saw the family in the lobby of the Butler County Jail in Hamilton on Sunday morning, and when he asked them what was wrong, he was told that the woman, Tierra Gray, and her two sons have been evicted from their home in Oxford.
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He tried to get them to a shelter, but when this proved unsuccessful, the veteran decided to pay for their hotel room for ten days,and took them to Walmart to buy food, clothes, and shoes.
Like a real good Samaritan, Brian did not tell anyone what he did, but his colleagues found out anyway when Tierra posted about his generosity on Facebook, alongside a photo of the officer with her children. She wrote on the social media site, “God has blessed us this week and I don’t know what I would have done. This officer, officer Brian Bussell, from Butler County Sheriff’s Department, has truly blessed me and my family.”
She went on, “We are homeless and Saturday night we slept inside the Butler County Jail lobby with the clothes we had on out back and nowhere else to go. Officer Holly got us blankets and I watched my kids sleep. When morning came, Officer Brian Bussell brought me and my boys in his office and arranged for us to be placed in a hotel for 10 days and took us out to get all new clothes.”
Tierra explained that she and her sons became homeless when they were evicted by their landlord after they missed rent, and since then, she and her sons have stayed with family and friends as they waited to hear about housing assistance.
She turned to the Butler County Sherrif’s Office when her options ran out. There, they were given blankets, but were told that they can only stay at the lobby for a night.
“I was just like Lord, what is it that I am supposed to do? What am I supposed to do right now? My kids are here sleeping inside of a jail lobby,” the mother shared. “I never thought I’d go through that, I mean, to that point. That right there was my breaking point.”
The next morning, when Deputy Bussell saw the family, he noticed that something was not quite right. “I know our visitation is at 9:00 a.m., and I saw the lady and the two young children sitting in the chairs,” he shared. “I assumed they were here to visit someone in our jail. When I walked back out a while later, the children were asleep, and the lady was still sitting there, so I inquired if she needed assistance.”
What he did—trying several shelters to find them places to stay with the help of dispatch supervisor Miranda Sheppard—is above and beyond his call of duty, but he couldn’t let them stay at a jail lobby anymore. “Most of the shelters were overcrowded or there was a time requirement to be there and we were past that.”
To help the family, he decided to contact a hotel in Oxford and booked a 10-day stay instead, with money from his own pocket. He also paid for their purchases at Walmart.
Tierra and her family are grateful. She even said on her Facebook post, “‘No one sees the good in our officers [nowadays] because everyone is judging all officers for what a few does [sic].”
Butler County Sherrif Richard Jones felt proud when he heard of his officer’s kindness. “This is a true act of kindness. He did not tell anyone at work what he had done, but the lady took a picture with him and posted it on Facebook,” he said. “That’s actually how we found out. It was shared so many times that I got a phone call asking if I knew what a generous gesture my deputy did. I am pleased that he was able to help this family out.”
Bussell’s generosity also sends a different spin on the bad reputation from law enforcement nowadays. Jones noted, “This speaks volumes in light of all the recent negativity people are saying about law enforcement. I have some of the best employees here.”