ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A homeless mother whose story went viral talks for the first time on television. Elliott Davis posted his interview of Melena Johnson and her 1-year-old son Shylar last month. In an emotional interview, she told of the frustration of being homeless on the streets of St Louis. It was an interview that resonated with people all across the nation, reaching over 3 million people on Facebook.
Elliott Davis helped Melena and her family with temporary housing at motels in the St. Louis area to keep her and her baby out of the freezing cold. She has gotten offers of help from around the nation. But she's pinning a lot of her hopes on the St. Louis City Human Services Department. That city agency run by Irene Agustin is working with Melena to try to direct her to transitional housing as well as help her in the effort to find a permanent place for her and her son to live.
Melena is currently off the streets in a motel room while the wheels of progress turn. She says she is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from so many people across the nation. Elliott says he got calls from folks from at least 20 cities saying they wanted to help Melena. She says she is often surprised meeting people on the streets who recognize her from the Facebook post and who wish her well.
Melena says also that she has not set up a GoFundMe page, but rather is trying to do as much as she can on her own.
This is the post that went viral in November: