An 11-year-old Lafayette boy was motivated to help a woman and her children who have been experiencing homelessness in our area after watching a video posted to a local Facebook group according to KLFY.

The young man, Detrell Thomas, was sitting around one day when his mother got up to fix them something to eat so he grabbed her phone to see what she had been watching. That's when he saw the video about Shelly Trahan and her two children struggling to make a home.

The video was put together by Terrance St. Julien who runs the nonprofit group Pay It Forward Lending a Helping Hand. St. Julien has been chronicling the stories of people experiencing homelessness in our area for the last three years.

Terrance St. Julien
KLFY Photo

St. Julien will video the people he is working with to have them share their stories. When Shelly Trahan shared her story a few days ago in the video Terrance posted on Facebook, she said she was so grateful to the many people who reached out to her to offer their help and support.

Trahan is from Lafayette, but following the death of her mother, she moved with her children to Opelousas. She says she had to leave Opelousas because as she says, "Everybody knows that Opelousas is a bad area. It's a bad environment."

Below is a video of Trahan and Thomas meeting, and it's going to tug at your heart. Try not to cry.

Shelly Trahan
KLFY Photo

Trahan decided to move to Lafayette, but she says it's a struggle for her as she has a 10-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. She says it's been a struggle to feed her children and find safe, affordable shelter.

Back to Thomas. When he watched the video of Trahan explaining her situation, he told his mother they had to help. And that's what they did. Earlier this week they started gathering things together to donate to Trahan.

His mom didn't even hesitate to help her son help someone in need. Thomas says he was just doing what his grandmother also taught him to do; to help others.

Trahan also got to meet Thomas when he and his mother were called out for a visit with Trahan when KLFY decided to cover the story of this very generous, caring young man.

You can tell by the hug that Trahan was overwhelmed by this young man's caring nature.

St. Julien is constantly working to help people in need in our area with people who might have a little something to give. You can click here to see his group on Facebook.

If you are interested in helping Trahan you can contact St. Julien by calling either of these numbers, 337-371-5722 or 337-280-2942. If you prefer you can email St. Julien via

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