Omar Little, one of the main characters in the HBO series The Wire, was inspired by five real Baltimore-area criminals from the 1980s and 90s: Donnie Andrews, Shorty Boyd, Ferdinand Harvin, Billy Outlaw and Anthony Hollie. Hollie went into witness protection in the mid 1980s after cooperating with the police, he was believed to be dead.
He relocated first to Missouri and then to Ohio where he was ultimately kicked out of the witness protection program for breaching protocol trying to support his heroin addiction. Following 90 days in rehab, he got active with community organizations helping to, of all things, remove youth from the streets. He began what became a nationally-renowned slam poetry group of young inner-city youth performing positive messages that he wrote. Here is an original copy of one of those poems - lyrics transcribed below:
There are many things about the homeless that people don't understand,
The myth is that they're lazy and are looking for a helping hand.
Ninety percent has an employment history and hey that's a fact,
A minimum wage job is not enough to get a family back on track.
Sixty-four percent don't have relatives that could lend a helping hand,
They're trying to raise a family and are doing the best they can.
As you work with homeless studnets beware of observed effects,
Poor attention span and frustration, aggressive behavior and hopelessness.
The stress can be overwhelming, it can tear at everyone's heart,
And little by little rip the family and you apart.
Your task is to lift them up and restore that hope and pride,
Reassure them that God is on their side.
There are people who you work with who are negative and insensitive,
Don't feed into it, there is too much positive you can give.
Compassion is a must in what you do and say,
Because you can be one of the homeless if someone takes a few paychecks away.
Everyone cannot do your job you're a chosen few,
The pay is not the best, so you know that didn't attract you,
You do it because you care about people and the feeling that you get when you help someone,
Money cannot replace it.