A photo that included the dogs would've been nice, but you can see them in the video at the link. His big white dog looks a bit like my Great Pyrenees. I think it's good that the people of Colleyville aren't trying to just give him everything, and he's okay with that. They're providing the means for him to become self-sufficient so he can save the money to pull himself up the rest of the way.
Camped out with his dogs under the overpass at State Highway 121 and Glade Road, it's likely most drivers went right past Billy Penny without a second glance.
But on December, Von Husbands got a call at his BBQ joint from one of his customers letting him know there was a man there he might be able to help.
"I got some dog collars and harnesses and leashes and blankets and a little bit of money and took it back down there," Husbands said.
Once there, he ran into Grapevine police officers who'd also been called. After meeting Penny and doing a quick background check, which came back clean, they were able to get him and his three dogs loaded into a truck and to a motel where they could stay warm and dry for the night.
Husbands, who'd posted the ordeal on Facebook, had raised enough to pay for a week's stay for the new stranger quickly turned friend. And within hours, he was able to come back with so much more.
The post landed on the Colleyville Mom's Group Facebook page where dozens began to comment, wanting to pay for a night's stay.
Danita Roberts, one of the group's moderators, quickly offered up a job for Penny at her family's landscaping business.
Others dropped off clothing, food and even offered a makeover for the man they'd never met.
"From the very beginning there was just a perfect peace about helping him," Roberts said.
One week in, they've provided enough to help Penny stay in their town through the end of the month. He said he hoped it would be enough to get back on his feet; the turning point 2 1/2 years after a car crash destroyed the trailer he called home and left him on the streets.
"With all of this help, this is where we get out of trouble," Penny said.
For now, Penny's grateful to have a warm place to stay with the dogs he calls family after being turned down from shelters across the state that don't allow pets.
But no matter how much people in Colleyville have given him, they'll tell you they believe he was brought into their lives for a reason.
"We call this a Christmas miracle to be honest," McKenzie Wollin said.
The group said they hoped to give Penny a car soon, which can become his shelter as he works to get back on his feet. He hoped to save enough for an RV, which would be a safe home for him and his dogs.