The Human Impact

First a job, then a home, then a Cowboys game

by Allison Hatfield | January 2, 2020

Matthew Nard was living on the streets of South Dallas when he met the kind people at The Human Impact several years ago. They befriended the homeless man — as is their mission — and kept tabs on him.

In August, he wasn’t feeling well, and The Human Impact volunteers took him to a psychiatric hospital for a medical evaluation. He wasn’t sick enough to be admitted — but he wasn’t well enough to go back to the streets. That’s when Nard was offered a pallet home at Bonton Farms in South Dallas. He’d been working at the farm for a few weeks, and its team recognized that with a little bit of help, he could be more than a reliable employee. Safe shelter and a supportive community can go a long way in helping a man turn his life around.

Nard moved into his home and began to sleep well — and feel better.

In December, The Human Impact gave the Dallas Cowboys fan a birthday present: community advocate Stormy Pecchioni took Nard to a football game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, where the Cowboys were playing the Los Angeles Rams.

Nard grew up hard, without birthday parties or presents. And despite the fact that his birthday falls on Christmas, it’s rarely been a time of joyful celebration for Nard. But he says that memories of watching Tony Dorsett as a kid and later “all of the games with Jimmy Johnson” are happy ones, and watching a team persevere through endless setbacks brings him hope. Even while living on the streets, he would find a way to watch his beloved Cowboys on Sundays.

And on December 15, Nard saw them play in person. He wore the jersey of his favorite Cowboys quarterback, Dak Prescott, to the game, The Cowboys — who had not had a good season — won. Inarguably though, the real winner is Nard, who is still living and working at Bonton Farms, building his health and a new life for himself.

See a video of Matthew’s story here.

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