Once homeless brothers grateful for help that turned their luck around

Feltys say goodbye to benches on Beechmont Avenue
Posted at 6:03 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 18:30:15-05

CINCINNATI – Two weeks before Christmas, they were sleeping in a tent by night and staying on benches along a busy street by day.

The Felty brothers – James and Tommy -  were homeless. They never expected to be where they are today.

"We were sleeping in a tent. We'd go sit on the bench in the daytime. We didn't want to stay in a tent all day long. At least watch the traffic go by," James said.

People saw the Feltys on Beechmont Avenue and reached out to help them.

 "We never asked for money but everybody gave it to us freely," James said.

Eventually someone even paid so the brothers  and their dog Lacha could stay a while at the Days Inn.

It was then, right before the holidays, that we first talked to them.

 "People kept coming by with dog food and bringing food by and they paid the motel bill all the way up through the third for us," James said.

Just when they thought people's kindness couldn't be greater, they got another surprise.

Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health helped them and Lacha get an apartment.

James called it "a whole different world."

 "I can go to sleep without worrying where I'm going to be the next day. I'm happy. I was getting way depressed out on the street," he said.

The two brothers now live a few miles away from the benches where they found the support of more than just boards.

"I guess that bench was the best place to sit down at. That's where everybody saw us at," James said.

The two brothers will never look at those benches the same.

"We didn't think we were going to have any good luck. Luck kept on going downhill. We were like, 'Oh, man.' We're glad it turned around."