Generous lawyer offers his house to homeless family

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good NewsJanuary 3, 2013

Tony Tolbert, 51, recently moved back in with his parents — for very generous reasons.

The successful entertainment lawyer offered his fully furnished Los Angeles home, rent-free for a year, to a family he'd never met.

Inspired by his father who always offered a place for people to stay, Tolbert decided to give up his own home to a homeless single mother and her four children.

"You don't have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or Oprah," Tolbert told CBS News. "We can do it wherever we are, with whatever we have, and for me, I have a home that I can make available."

Felicia Dukes and her three youngest children had been sharing a single room at a shelter for homeless women and children — her eldest couldn't stay with them as he was too old to be considered a child — when Tolbert contacted the shelter with his offer.

"They had a young man that wanted to donate their house to you for a year," Dukes recounted to CBS News. "And I'm looking at her, like, 'What?' Like, 'Are you serious?'"

Both Dukes and Tolbert teared up on moving day. Dukes was reunited with her eldest son as they moved into the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, and Tolbert was reminded of the life lessons his father, now suffering from Alzheimer's, taught him:

"Kindness creates kindness. Generosity creates generosity. Love creates love," he said. "And I think if we can share some of that and have more stories about people doing nice things for other people, and fewer stories about people doing horrible things to other people, that's a better world."