Lufkin man creates crosses to turn life around while living on the streets

Lufkin man creates crosses to turn life around while living on the streets

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For nearly two years, 34-year-old Matthew Haak has been creating crosses out wood, bead or string. He said he picked up the skill when he was in county jail.

"I use to just panhandle but I rather make these and sell them than just ask people for money," Haak said.

While he was attending Church Without Walls at Kiwanis Park, he said he's taking steps to get his life back. He fell into some hard times almost six years ago where he found himself in county jail. It was there that he picked the skill to make crosses out of beads and string.

"And the wood ones, a buddy of mine had taught me kinda showed me a little bit and then I started making them," Haak said.

Haak uses simple tools to make an array of necklaces and rosaries as he sells them on the corner of Timberland and Denman. He said each dollar earned goes towards more supplies.

"Making these you can say, ok I got this for sale and it makes you look better than randomly asking strangers for money just so you can go get your next meal," Haak said.

Several years ago Haak said he made the wrong choices. It was after learning the death of his father, sister and aunt, he fell into challenging times.

"That's one of the main reason I turned to the streets of love and turned to drugs," Haak said. "Two years ago before I caught my felony, I was running blind. I was looking for love in the wrong places."

Even though he's living in the streets, he said he's working hard now where bead by bead he's finding love in faith to turn his life around.

"You can meditate on God while you're making them and I feel like that's why God blesses me so much," Haak said.

Haak said he hopes to land a job soon while still continue making crosses. He sells the crosses necklaces for $5 and bracelets for $2.

Haak's parole officer said he's making progress to improve his life.