Yesterday, I was at Kelmscott Shopping Centre. There, sitting by the entrance, was a young man sitting cross-legged with sign:
Help I’m homeless
I don’t know why I was drawn to him. It could be the defeated slouch; the small hopeful smile or his knitted eyebrows as he contemplate his fate.
Nevertheless, I went into the shops to purchase some food for myself. Browsing the aisle, I asked myself if it was appropriate to get him something. I contemplated what to get him. I felt quite vulnerable- what if he thought I was rude? What if he thought that I was rubbing it in his face? What if he threw the things back at me?
As I waited in line to pay. My heart thumped against my ribs and I grabbed the red Powerade. After I made my purchase, I made my way to the entrance. The young man gave me a small smile. I stopped and knelt in front of him. I peered into his ice cream contained and mentally released a sigh of relief- there was money in it.
We had a conversation and he shared that it had been 2 years that he’s been out on the streets. He had just gotten kicked out of the last place as the people he was staying with sold their house to move away. When asked of his plans, he told me that he tried looking around in the local area, but had no luck, so he was gathering money to get into the city and try to find a bed.
This young man had nothing save for the clothes on his back. I offered the red Powerade and pushed a bag of English muffins. He accepted the Powerade but needed some persuading to take the muffins. He’s words were, “I can’t take your stuff.” I pushed back and said, “Look, I’ve got plenty to share.” With that, He accepted and I wished him good luck. I also prayed that he will get a bed tonight.
People always aspire to do great and noble things. Go to Vietnam, build a orphanage, save the tigers what have you. But what about here, in our community?
My only regret, was not asking the young man’s name.
Share your thoughts below, I would love to hear from you.