SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara homeless advocate Ken Williams passed away on Sunday from a blood cancer, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Known locally as a fierce advocate for the homeless, NewsChannel 3 once followed him through the city as he worked tirelessly to help those without a place to live. "Here's a poncho, it is going to rain this weekend," he said to one homeless person on a day in 2005.
A Santa Barbara County social worker for 35 years, Williams tried to help hundreds of homeless people get off the streets.
Williams told NewsChannel 3 the first step in helping a homeless person was to gain their trust.
"They will judge you eventually. You have to convey to them sincerity and then they open up," Williams said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Williams died in the home of a friend on the Santa Barbara Mesa with a spectacular ocean view. His bed was placed next to a wall where the names of more than 400 homeless people who passed away are inscribed.