5/15/07 -- OKC, OK - A local man with a simple plan - to serve a fresh hotdog, handshake and a friendly smile to the homeless in downtown Oklahoma City.
Rick Swyden, 46, is known as "the hot dog man" to the hundreds of homeless individuals and families he comes into contact with every Sunday afternoon.
Swyden reportedly got the idea for 'Hot dogs for the Homeless' five years ago after his conscience lead him to perform a single selfless act - buying one man a meal. "That's a life changing experience of feeding this man ... I tell you, giving is awfully addictive," said Swyden during a recently published CBS News interview.
Swyden says that his small group of volunteers serve about 300 meals each Sunday. Swyden has even expanded his efforts to include other food items, clothing and much needed referrals to those looking for a way out of homelessness, addiction and life on the streets.
One of Swyden's success stories is that of a woman who was living on the streets and prostituting herself to support her drug habit.
Swyden was able to help the women kick her drug addiction; a step which has allowed her to hold down two jobs and even rent an apartment of her own.
Through the simple kindness of a hot meal, Swyden says that often trust is built and through that trust can come miracles.