Oct 22, 2012

Jake Maguire's picture Posted By Jake Maguire

In Charlotte, a Life Cut Short, but Not without a Home

This week's Monday move-in story pays tribute to William Larry Major in Charlotte, NC, and the local Campaign group that helped him find a permanent home before his death. William Larry "Chilly Willy" Major spent two decades as the most famous homeless man on the streets of Charlotte. Eight months ago, however, he moved into a permanent apartment with help from the Urban Ministry Center, a local group leading the 100,000 Homes Campaign on the ground. At the time, he declared, “I am not ‘Chilly Willy’ anymore. My name is William Larry Major.” His transformation went far beyond a name change as he found stability and support in his new home.

Last Thursday, Larry was struck by a car and killed near his apartment in Charlotte. A local news story announcing his death included interviews with neighbors fondly recounting his kindness and colorful spirit. It also contained a small silver lining, describing him as “formerly homeless” and detailing recent improvements to his health in housing. We mourn Larry's death and are grateful that he spent the last eight months of his life in a home of his own.