MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- A paramedic and a homeless man met years ago and formed a friendship that would persist through addiction, homelessness and time.
Not many people can say their friendship began over trash. And even fewer can gloat that their bond helped them through homelessness and addiction.
But that's exactly what happened after Jeanah Nomelli met William Levens more than 10 years ago at a gas station in Ceres.
“Went to investigate and I found Will digging through the dumpster," Nomelli said.
“Stopped, looked, and she had a few things to say that touched my heart, and that’s when I began to share with her a little bit about my life," Levens said.
Nomelli was and still is a paramedic and Levens had been homeless, heartbroken and battling addiction.
“The love of my life for 13 and a half years passed away and I began to hate everything and everyone,” Levens explained.
After months of sharing their lives, Levens was at a crossroads. He could get help from a program that would help him out from this bridge he was living under, but he needed his ID card.
“Promise me that if I gave him the $7 he wouldn’t use it on drugs,” Nomelli said.
After Nomelli handed Levans the money, he disappeared. With no word from her friend, she thought the worst had happened.
“I really did think that he may have used it to get drugs,” she told FOX40.
More than 10 years passed and Nomelli would find herself at another gas station, this time in Modesto in October, with a familiar stranger waiting for her by the bathroom.
“My first instinct was why is this guy standing here staring at me?” Nomelli said.
“I said, 'You remember me?' And I was just bawling, bawling my eyes out at the time because I found my sister again,” Levens said.
The two friends found each other once again, and it turns out, Levens did keep his promise.
“I went and got my ID just like I told her I would," Levens told FOX40. "I was able to start work because without an ID you can’t work."
He’s now off the streets and is even helping other people with their recovery.
“Will has always had an inner light and it’s always shined,” Nomelli said.
It’s a love that has been put to action, to save each other, as well as others.
“'Cause I know she’s got the same passion as I do, to help others, and that’s what we’re gonna do,” Levens said.
Levans told FOX40 he is currently saving as much money as he can so that one day he can start a religious-based program that can help more people.