Homeless people

After seeing a homeless man and woman arguing in the street, Michael told us to pull over. We pulled over to the curb and we just watched for a minute. Mr Jackson saw all the other cars passing by, and he asked, “Why isn’t anybody helping them? Why isn’t anybody stopping?” Then he said to Javon, “Call the woman over to the car.”
Javon rolled down the window, waved her over. When she got to the car, Mr Jackson rolled his window down just a little bit and said, “What’s your name?”
“Amanda,” she said.
They talked for a bit. He wanted to know her story. He asked her where she was from, where’s her family at. She said she used to be a dancer, a showgirl. Then I heard him reaching around in the backseat for something. I heard the sound of paper. He was pulling out money. He pulled out three one hundred dollar bills, gave them to her and said, “Here. Take This.”
She was floored. She was almost crying, saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
After he gave her the money, she backed up a few steps and I started to drive off. The guy that had been sitting near her got up, came over to her and tried to snatch the money away. She pulled back, but he kept trying to grab it from her and they started fighting again. She started yelling, “No! This is mine!”
Mr Jackson saw that and said, “No, no, no! Javon, stop the car. Pull back over.”
I pulled back over, he leaned back out of the window and called the man over this time, saying, “Don’t do that! Here, I’ve got something for you too.” He pulled out another three hundred dollars and gave it to the man. The lady started crying, like she’d been saved.
He told them to use the money for food. “Get something nourishing,” he said. “Don’t get any drugs.”
“No, sir!” they said. “No,sir!” They were both gushing with thank yous and God bless yous, when all of a sudden the man stopped and looked in the car window and said, “Are you Michael Jackson?”
“No. No, I’m not.”
As we were driving away, Mr Jackson asked us if there were a lot of people like that in the area, and after hearing that there were parts of Vegas where many homeless people lived, he asked us if we could drive there. “You want to get there tonight, sir? Tonight wouldn’t be a good time.” “No, no,” he said. “We can go another day. I just want to see.”
When he mentioned going there, I was hoping he’d forget about it. Sometimes when he made unusual requests, things I knew weren’t feasible or just weren’t a good idea, I’d wait a bit before following up, to see if he’d drop it. Sometimes he would. This time, he remembered. A couple of days later he came up to me and said, “When are we going to that side of town?”
“What side of town is that, sir?”
“Where the homeless people are.”
“We can go there today.”
“Okay, let’s go.”
We headed up Main street, and all of these people were out. You could hear in his voice that he was shocked that all of these people were homeless. “It’s just amazing,” he said. “This country is so rich and these people are poor and living on the street.”
He asked Javon to pull over, so we pulled over. I was a little antsy. I wasn’t cool pulling over in a nice car with all these people around. We sat there on the side of the road for a bit. Then Mr Jackson said, “I want to give them something.”
I thought he meant he wanted to get out of the car and I said, “I don’t think it’d be a good idea to go out there, sir.”
He said, “No, no, no. I’ll pass it out of the window.”
He cracked the window open and started waving people over. He had a fanny pack he was wearing. He opened it up and the whole thing was stuffed full of cash. They would come to the window and he would pass out a hundred dollar bill through the crack in the window to each one. One thing I noticed was that he was trying to catch the attention of the women. He wanted to make sure that they were the ones who got the money. He was like, “Come here. No, no, no. You. You come here.” A lot of men got money too, but I could hear him singling the women out of the crowd, calling them forward. People started lining up outside his window, like it was an ATM.
He gave away so much he ran out, and he got upset with himself. He was saying he should have brought more. We started to see another side of him, his compassion for others, and it was kind of amazing. There was no media out there, no cameras. There was only a crack in the window, so no one could tell it was him. It was just something he wanted to do.
After that, we went and handed out food to the homeless a number of times. He’d say, “Me and the kids are not going to eat this. Let’s take this down and give it away.” One time, he wanted the kids to come with us and see it, so we brought them along.
Michael Jackson’s bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, in “Remember the Time - Protecting Michael Jackson”