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LOS ANGELES – Ted Williams went from a homeless man struggling with alcoholism on the streets of Columbus, Ohio to instant Internet fame when a video of him using his radio voice went viral.
The former radio personality and military veteran was placed in a rehab facility courtesy of Dr. Drew (he left after 12 days), penned his biography, and was hired by Kraft Foods’ to voice its new TV campaign. Despite the pressures of his surge to fame, which at one point prompted a relapse, Williams remains steadily employed by Kraft, and tells FOX411 he's committed to his recovery.
“I’m still with Kraft Mac and Cheese, doing a great deal with them. I’ve also done the Rosslyn Independence Living Center and I did narration for the Military Channel that I’m looking forward to listening to one day,” Williams said. “I’m trying to audition for quite a few things within the voice-over community; they have a number of opportunities that I’m looking forward to fielding when I get out to California.”
Williams is also on the lecture circuit, sharing his story and experience with different groups and organizations around the country, raising awareness about what it means to be homeless, and debunking some myths about the people sleeping under the bridges and in the parks.
“I’ve met some very, very influential people in my years of being homeless. Their backgrounds include some very prestigious positions. I’ve met bankers, and I met a pilot once. He was homeless because he lost his wife of 30 years and turned to the bottle,” Williams explained. “Homelessness can hit any area, any person at any time. With the housing market the way it is, I am sure there is a lot of people who are just one paycheck away from being homeless themselves.”
Williams is on a mission to eradicate homelessness in his hometown of Columbus through his not-for-profit organization “The Ted Williams Project.”
“I’m very much committed to giving back,” hesaid, adding that his current objective is supplying socks to those without a roof over their heads. “A lot of times homeless people don’t have enough socks to last them through any situation. Socks really help motivate someone to keep them moving out of that shelter as opposed to just moping about feeling sorry for themselves. So I’m taking socks to the street. God gave me this blessing and I’m going to pay it forward and give back… Even when I didn’t have anything, I still (tried) to give. Even if it was just a smile, like in that original video.”
Last year, the father of nine narrated the documentary “Houseless,” released by Moto Entertainment, a film production company founded by former Marine Corps drill instructor Michael Nichols. And while Williams admitted that his substance abuse demons still lurk, he remains fully devoted to his faith and using his skills for good.
“I’m still in recovery. But it has been three years since this divine blessing. I am looking forward to taking God’s message and the message of redemption, hope and of second chances, addiction, mental health and homelessness,” Williams added. “I have even had much love from my fellow veterans of the United States Armed Forces, so now it is time that I make use of this. The final transition of Ted Williams, the man with the God-given golden voice, I’m ready to spread the message that true redemption is all that he grants. When Christ fed the multitude, he only had five fish and three loaves, and he fed the multitude of people.”
Emily Sissell contributed to this report.
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