My name is Steve Smith, but everyone calls me Droop. Droop is a nick name I’ve had for 22 years now! Quick back story of me: My parents divorced when I was young. My dad and my brothers’ dad were never around and my mom struggled to raise and feed us while also trying to better our situation by going to universities and colleges. She re hooked up with an old flame of hers, and he was a very abusive controlling person. Because of him, I was living on the streets by 15. Not couch surfing, sleeping in a box. Not to bore you with 1.5 years of that! At 17, I got a special exception and was allowed to join the Army. It wasn’t a long stay, as I tore my ulnar nerve during training, so back to Spokane, and worst, back to the streets. This time I did have a car though. You are a product of your environment. My environment was a very destructive one! I ran around with gangs, sold drugs, over indulged in everything! I went BANANAS! My daughter Makenzie was born when I was 21, and that slowed me down a little. I worked but still sold drugs. At 24 I was reminded that selling drugs was illegal! I had 1 year to think it over. I didn’t need the whole year to figure out I needed to change! But they let me keep thinking! After my year, I was motivated! I started on finishing my college degree in business, met my future wife, who was now pregnant with my kid, so we bought a house and I started my Landscaping Company, The LawnSmith, which I owned and operated for 13 years until I sold the business in 2012. After 17 years of grief, the V.A. finally approved a reconstructive surgery for my arm. BAD IDEA!! I should’ve left it alone. I’m worse off now than b4! Right b4 my dad died in 2012, we talked about our ideas of a hot rod shop. I love hot rods, and love helping people, so that is the approach I took. It’s payback time. Growing up, my mom depended on charities to get us through hard times. Like when we lived in a tent by the river for 3 months. That’s hard on a parent when you can’t even provide the basic needs for your children. I owe everything to my mom! Being from an abusive household and a street kid, kids are on the top of my list of people to help. They can’t sometimes, help their situation. We play free drive inn movies every Friday at our store, and if anyone donates, and we encourage that they do, the money collected goes str8 to Cup of Cool Water, they are a local organization who help homeless kids. Small children clothes, and toys, and women’s clothing I take to an Emergency crisis center for abused moms and children. With my landscaping company, I donated to Tom’s Turkey drive. Tom is a local Weather man, who hosts a food drive every thanksgiving. I have also donated to “Honor Flight”. It is a program designed to accept donations and they take the WWII vets to Washington D.C. to see their monument.
Ok, so my problem: I’m used to dealing with thousands of dollars and employees. So basically I OVER spent trying to fill my store. We opened the store in February with a great reception. Since then it has been a downward spiral. The longer I’m open, obviously, the more people we can help, but we are sinking. People love the shop. They are figuring out we can make Kustom stickers, signs, banners, shirts, and yadda yadda. I’d like to fix my 1962 Ford Falcon van and maybe drive around Washington, raising awareness, but homeless kids in Spokane, may be a hard sell in Ohio? It’s gonna be a hard sell anywhere! Spokane people will get involved once in a while. But it has to benefit them in some way! When I sold my landscaping company, I paid off everything, and for a minute, everything was going great. I don’t fail well, and I’l be damned if the kids do without because I didn’t get on it b4 it was too late. ! So I guess the worst you guys can do is say NO, but if I didn’t try everything in my power to Make it work, then I failed them! Thank you for your time!!