Blue Springs community comes together to help homeless veteran

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- A homeless veteran in Blue Springs recently received the help of his community after a post about him circulated around the Blue Springs Community Facebook page.

Steve Arnold isn't a stranger to many in Blue Springs. He is seen almost every day walking along Woods Chapel Road helping pick up trash and cigarette butts at several convenience stores.

"The main reason why I pick up butts or trash around here is it was God who told me since I was hanging around here so much he told me to make myself useful," Arnold said. "I’m here about every day and I just come down around 9 or 930 and then I hang around and at 12 noon I go up to Little General so I can call my daughter every day."

Steve said he's been homeless for over 10 years and he lives in a tent a few hundred yards from the highway. Steve didn't know it but he slowly caught the attention of Sella Minker, a QuikTrip manager, who began to notice Steve was unlike most homeless people that come into her store.

"I always caught Steve outside picking up trash and I told him to stop but he said he had nothing else to do," Minker said. "He’s very quiet so it took a while for us to get to know him before we really started to talk. He’s so humble, doesn’t make a scene, he is quiet, he will come in and say hi, tell us he’s leaving and that he’ll be back in a little bit."

Despite her efforts, Steve insisted on helping around the store.

"One thing picking up these butts is I will pick up trash on the road a lot of times because I figure if I’m going to be going by a trash can I might as well pick it up rather than complain about it. Trying to get it in the trash can," Arnold said.

Their friendship grew over time and as the holidays approached knowledge of Steve and his story began to expand across the town thanks to a post Minker made on the community's Facebook page.

"I got on the Blue Springs Community Page and people started commenting about how Steve doing, asking for updates, and I commented on there and people started asking me what he needed. I asked him some question, gave out some info." Minker said. "People started bringing up bags of clothes, would help him out with food, money for food, and say if he needs anything to let them know, message them. It’s been really great to see this community come together."

It was a gesture Steve said helped remind him of the kindness that's in the hearts of his neighbors and now friends.

"I’m very appreciative. I thank them always. I do see the love of Christ in many of them." Steve said, "It was just very gracious. Very grateful to all of them. I just was realizing this area has a lot of decent people in it, a very good neighborhood around here."

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