A French Quarter fixture needs a helping hand after a house fire destroyed everything he owns.
Leroy Hawkins has been greeting New Orleans’ visitors for the last 50 years. The doorman to the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter is always ready to help, but now he needs help himself.
“We watched the house burn,” Hawkins said. “We lost everything.”
On December 9, Hawkins' house in New Orleans East was destroyed by fire. The inside is gone, the outside is charred and broken, his lawn is littered with what used to be his belongings, but Hawkins doesn’t feel sorry for himself.
“I've been overwhelmed by all the people, the friends that just come out and ask me if I need anything,” Hawkins said. “It's just such a blessing to have people around you."
The Royal Orleans Hotel is giving Hawkins a place to stay as he puts his life back together.
“They accommodated me in every fashion,” he said. “This is a wonderful place to work.”
You'd expect Hawkins to be devastated, losing everything he's worked for, but you'd be wrong. Out of the ashes, Hawkins found hope.
"I give my praising to the good lord for making me strong and realize how blessed I am,” he said. “I could have been dead and I'm just so happy to be alive."