Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Talking To The Homeless

--by silentdreamer, posted Mar 29, 2007

Today I was walking along the street when a homeless woman asked me for some change. I gave her some money and stopped to talk to her for a while.

I asked her about how she ended up on the street and if there was a shelter she could go to. She told me about some of her struggles. She told me that she left home at seventeen and was homeless since then (she now looked close to 40). She said that her bag with all her clothes and possesions was stolen the night before, while she was sleeping outside a church. She said that she goes to the day centre everyday and they make calls to try to find her a shelter but nothing is available, as all shelters for women are full up. It has been like this for months. I listened to her and said a few kind words to her. After we spoke, I told her that it was really nice to meet her and wished her all the best.

I left feeling really sad and frustrated that there was nothing I could do to alleviate her situation. I have spoken to a few other homeless people and I have heard about how difficult it is to get a place in a shelter, or sometimes how some shelters can be so unsafe that it is better for them to sleep on the streets.

I was on my way to buy a birthday present for my niece and while buying the present I thought about the lady I had just met and other homeless people I have spoken to. I thought about how frustrating it must be not to be able to experience so many of the day to day things that I and many others take for granted...a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, money to buy food and even money to buy presents for a dear one.

I decided that I must do more to for the homeless apart from just listening and offering some change. We are all human beings, all the same. Why should some people have to suffer and struggle in this way? I thought about things I could do and now plan to volunteer with a charity that works with the homeless.

I went back after a while to look for the lady to give her some food and warm clothes but I could not find her. Next time I meet a homeless person, I will make sure I immediately offer to give them food or clothing, instead of waiting so long.

The name of the lady I met today was Tina.

I hope I bump into her again.

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Readers Comments

Grammagussie wrote: Your story has inspired me to do more for the homeless. I'm so blessed with all the comforts of life.
maddy wrote: that was so nice.I wish everybody would be as kind as that
LOVEBUG wrote: I volunteer for a mission that serves the poor in a variety of ways, I have the privilege f serving in the thrift shop. What I have come to understand, is most people want to help, but they do not know how, so they come in and but stuff they don't need to support the mission that has the knowledge to help.
MakeSomeoneSmile wrote: Nice story! I think you are right that everyone should be treated like a human being, regardless of their circumstances.
monkeyinpajamas wrote: lovely story!
i think very often people only want a listening ear and a hand to hold!
great job!
robbie wrote: wow! it really takes compassion and courage to stop and actually carry on a conversation with a homeless person. in our society, we are told not to talk to strangers and people who are less fortunate than we are. it's often hard to break that trend.
asdf wrote: That is so amazing! I really admire the fact that you talked to Tina and actually cared. It is so easy to make excuses but you actually acted on what you saw around you. That is so cool! Maybe next time I see a homeless person I will stop to take to them. maybe it will even be tina!

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