When Clint Benefield lived in Austin, his love for music frequently drew him to different venues on the town’s renowned 6th Street.
But one of the things he said he most remembers about the street has nothing to do with entertainment.
“What you never see in the advertisements are the homeless there,” he said.
Now after moving to Tyler - and opening Vapor Galleria in March - Benefield is taking an active role in helping the homeless. His goal is to raise enough money - $2,500 - to pay for The Salvation Army of Tyler's 2016 Thanksgiving meal. He plans to do it by camping out in front of his store.
He will be staying atop a scaffolding tower setup in the parking lot in front of the store until he raises the money. He began the campout on Wednesday.
“I hope (to be here) no more than a week, but if I have to stay longer I will,” he said. “I’ve always had a soft spot for the homeless.
Salvation Army of Tyler Community and Public Relations Coordinator Lindsey Galabeas said this year the organization is planning to serve around 1,500 people for the meal.
How to help
Drop off donations designated for The Salvation Army's Thanksgiving meal to Clint Benefield in the front parking lot of Vapor Galleria, 1400 W SW Loop 323 Suite 50. Benefield intends to be there until he raises at least $2,500. A Salvation Army red kettle also is for donations. Donations may also be made online at or mailed or dropped off at The Salvation Army of Tyler, 633 N. Broadway Ave.
Benefield also said a portion of the sales at Vapor Galleria would be used to toward helping him meet his goal.