Scott Coblio returns with another enlightening piece of writing in which he reflects upon the impact of small and seemingly insignificant acts of human kindness.
At the end of this piece you will find some information on how you, if you live in the UK, can help offer hope to homeless individuals in your local community.
About a year ago, a man came into my work seemingly having a nervous breakdown.
He said something to the effect that his friends had left him and he had nowhere to stay, and asked if he could use the phone.
I, at first, said no, that it wasn’t a public phone, etc.
He politely said “okay……” in a trembling voice and started to walk away.
Then I felt bad and said “Actually, yes, you can make a call if you want.”
He came back in and dialed a number.
“They’re not answering…thanks anyway for letting me try,” he said, starting to cry as he walked away.
“Wait–do you have family that lives close enough to come and get you?” I asked.
He thought about it and took the phone and dialed another number, got someone who said they would come, and waited outside for what I remember to be about 3-4 hours.
I went out and told him he could wait inside if he wanted but he said no thank you, he was okay out there.
Finally, a carload of people pulled up and a girl got out and hugged him for a long time before they packed him into the car.
As it backed out of the lot, she mouthed the words “thank you” to me through the window.
Yesterday–a year later–a co-employee told me that this man came in the store looking for me, that he told my co-worker that he’d been on drugs at the time and at the end of his rope, but his family had helped him clean up and now had a job doing social work, and he just wanted to thank the guy who let him use the phone.
Remembering how I almost didn’t, I felt very glad that such a small thing as letting him make a call, and suggesting he call his family, led to such a profound change in his life.
I have to admit–I am not always charitable.
How sympathetically I react to someone in need depends totally on how I’m approached and addressed.
It just so happened this man was very respectful and polite, so I softened, and am glad I did.
We don’t always get to see what happens when we are helpful or charitable—but it’s important to know that sometimes, one little spark can rekindle a whole fire.
POSTING AGAIN TO ASK ALL UK FRIENDS TO DOWNLOAD THE APP.
Shining a Light on Homelessness #StreetLink – DAVID E WATTERS
Are you concerned about #homelessness and rough sleepers in your area?
I am and I have submitted a referral for a man I spent some time talking to the other day. We shared a coffee. Well, what I mean is I bought us both a coffee and I asked him how he was and what help he was accessing, if any.
He’d been sleeping in a car park where the attendants, in some sense looked out for him but where he was at risk of unwelcome attention and where he had recently suffered a violent attack.
If, like me, you are concerned that there are people suffering in this way, there is something very easy that you can do to help.
StreetLink aims to offer the public a means to act when they see someone sleeping rough, and is the first step someone can take to ensure rough sleepers are connected to the local services and support available to them.
If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough, send an alert to StreetLink by visiting http://www.streetlink.org.uk, via the mobile app, available for Apple and Android devices, or by calling 0300 500 0914.
The details provided by a member of the public are sent to the local authority or outreach team concerned, so they can help connect the person to local services and support.
The person submitting the alert receives details of the action the local authority normally takes when they are told someone is sleeping rough.
StreetLink also contacts the council within ten working days to find out what has happened as a result of the alert and, if requested, provides the person who made the referral with an update.