February 12th, 2009
09:10 AM ET
6 years ago

Kindness will help economy, homeless woman's rescuer says

 Henrietta Hughes, left, and Chene Thompson talk on the lawn of the home Thompson is letting Hughes use.
Henrietta Hughes, left, and Chene Thompson talk on the lawn of the home Thompson is letting Hughes use.

(CNN) – Acts of kindness will help pull the nation through its economic crisis, according to the woman who came to the rescue of a homeless Floridian who publicly appealed to President Obama.

Related video: 'Please help,' Hughes asks Obama

Chene Thompson, the wife of state Rep. Nicholas Thompson, R-Fort Myers, is letting Henrietta Hughes and her son stay in a house she owns in nearby La Belle rent free until they get back on their feet.

Watch: Hughes, Thompson on American Morning

"You don't have to be a politician to put forth a stimulus package," Chene Thompson said during a joint interview with Hughes Thursday on CNN's "American Morning." "This is our own little mini-stimulus package for a person who was a stranger and now is a friend.

"Anybody can help anybody at any time. It doesn't need to be something that comes from Washington; it can come from your own home and from your heart, even if it's for a little bit."

Hughes emerged from the crowd at Tuesday's town hall meeting in Fort Myers to tell Obama she and her son were living in a car and needed immediate help. The president asked her name, kissed her on the cheek and promised his staff would work with her.

Thompson, who was in the audience, stepped forward afterward to offer Hughes her vacant house, which the Thompsons had to leave because it is outside her husband's legislative district.

Full story


Filed under: Economy • Florida • President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. andrea

    This is America. Way to Go!

    February 12, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  2. Sheri

    This is nothing more than a set up.......Henrietta didn't get front row at the town hall for nothing...and for the Thompson's 15 minutes of kindness...why wasn't a homeless person already living there?

    Sorry I voted for Obama

    February 12, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. No you didn't

    Do you think anyone will mention that the Thompsons are Republicans?

    February 12, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Eugene

    Amen. The national stimulus plan can be constructive, but what will give it substance is if American citizens fulfill all our opportunities for helping one another. As simple as that.

    February 12, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Mikki, Washington, DC

    Good for Ms. Thompson.

    February 12, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Looking for Truth

    No one wants this country to fail you idiot. All people with the smarts to think for themselves want his socialist agenda to fail You democrats are actually a stupid lot.

    February 12, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. closet republican

    This is really touching. God sent that lady an angel...

    February 12, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. Tonya

    It's a nice lady that lives down the street from me I see her every morning when she's putting her son on the bus, she don't really know me but she walked up to me and she asked if I knew anyone that was hiring for a job she were a stay at home mom but since her husband wasn't getting many hours at work they could barely pay their bills I knew this guy that clean up offices at department stores I told him about her and he called her in for a job she was very happy it wasn't the best job but she had to start somewhere, I think we as a people need to look out for one another I would hope someone would do the same for in my times of need I think we need to swallow our pride and take whats offered to us, you may have a degree in nursing but if Walmart is hiring and you can't get a job at the hospital then I saw take the Walmart job till you can get that nursing job...........

    Thanks Mrs & Mr.Thompson we need more people like you in this world

    February 12, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Joe Six Pack

    I noticed that there is a R by her name instead of a D which doesnt surprise me. The D stands for do as i say not as i do anyway. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    February 12, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  10. Jim

    Gerry: Get a life.

    To the Thompsons: I applaud your generosity and charity. This is what Jesus would have us do. This is what we as a nation need to be doing in times of crisis. Turning to each other for help.

    We do not need the government hand feeding us, making society dependent ot it for our existence. Bashing republicans is not the answer either. Society as a whole is responsible for the mess we are in. We want, and whether we can afford or not, we get. Money is no object. The time has come to go thru a period of want and this country will be the better for it.

    February 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. change in America

    That what i call change in American when a president tell a homeless woman he will get her help...I wondering if Bush would have done that.. President Obama is a president who cares about poor American

    February 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. cal

    I know the story will attract all the nasty bloggers, however I'm glad Ms Hughes and her son have a roof over their heads. There are still decent people in this country, but the nasty comments being sent about this story is terrible. Just remember this could be you needing someone to lend a helping hand to you or someone close to you.

    February 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. layman

    what an incredible story of good samarithan? may god bless both their families!

    having said that, i wonder if the woman would have still gotten the help from state rep/wife if mrs hughes had approached the thompson's on the street and asked for help – any help.

    does been on national stage moves us as human beings to do extraordinary good?

    i'm sure we all have neighbors that are in dare need as we speak, what can we do for them? should we wait until they loose their house/apartment and end up on the streets before we reach out to them? or should you wait until you become homeless before asking your neighbor for help?

    hmm ... human being ... society today ...

    February 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. texasgreenacres

    Almighty god will hover over you and protect you as a reward for your act of kindness.just remember the parable about the good Samaritan.Your really close on this.Thanks to the almighty we still have people like you.

    February 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. frank, pennsylvania

    I hope this is not another cynical republican response – to pretend to be nice, when indeed they careless about the welfare of the poor and downtrodden! They care more about their political success than the progress of this country! I would not be supprised to see that this move is actually politically motivated!

    February 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. P. Y.

    Congratulations go out to Rep. and Mrs. Thompson. This is an example of what " country first " is all about. People need help and this is how that is done. People helping people.

    February 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Dont blame me

    Well, it is good to see that a REPUBLICAN stepped forward to help Ms. Hughes.

    Where are all of those CHARITABLE democRATs???

    Oh, that's right they are all tight wads like Joe Biden.

    For heavans sake, I make a mear fraction of what Biden makes and I give more to charity. The tight wad.

    February 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Seth

    Was that whole scene a set up for that woman to be able to get so near obama?, maybe a media que for sympathy. You know obama knows how to work the media.

    February 12, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Angie

    Gerry February 12th, 2009 10:47 am ET
    ______________________________________________________
    I completely agree Gerry. It was a wonderful thing for Chene Thompson to step up. May God bless them.

    February 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Gerda Edwards

    Gerry - seems to me that during those six years, when Repubs had control of everything, the economy was doing quite well. Far better than most people expected given 911 and a war on two major fronts. Then Dodd and Frank took over.

    But it's easy to talk about "us" vs. "them" and continue to promote divisions of hate - Repubs vs. Dems, Wealthly vs. Poor, Black vs. White, Citizen vs. Illegal Immigrant, etc. Divide and conquer seems to still be the way the left operates. The Dems are the Party of pessimism by any measure. Polls showed that when asking if we would see a Black Pres in our lifetime, when one looks at charitable contributions, when the attacks on Palin continue, when one compares McCain's concession to either Gore's or Jerry's, when one listens to the global warming alarmists, etc.

    February 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Tim from Eugene OR.

    May the Lord bless Mrs. Thompson for her kindness. It is surprising to hear her husband is a Republican Congressman though, given that a lot of their leadership has no heart for the poor. Rush is just a greedy creep, Hannity on the other hand proclaims to be a Christian, yet loves the mighty dollar and seems to disdain the poor. That is not what Jesus taught.
    It is just amazing that the Republicans are by their very actions a party for the wealthy, that get most of the support they need from very poor Christians. The Republican party votes for just about everything that goes against Jesus teachings.
    Mrs. Thompson is an example at least on this matter of what being a Christian (Christ follower) really is and again may the Lord bless her for it.

    February 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. Lynn

    This is what "community" can do and why President Obama reaching beyond the filter of a controversy, ratings based media and Washington will produce change.

    February 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. One Nation under God

    Progress is the child of Hope and Change

    this story has crossed all line

    This gave me a little more faith in people again

    February 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  24. Joe in NJ

    "After plunging the country into a disasterous mess all they can do is stand in opposition and stir up desent even while many Americans are in real desperation."

    Oh give it up already! You can't blame the Republicans for everything.

    February 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. dc voter

    Thank you for showing the American people no matter how different one political view is, our humane bleeds the same blood-unity!! Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, you might have just started the revoluton we as a people have longed for!!!

    February 12, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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