In our society, homelessness is seen almost as a disease. People don’t want to get too close; they often won’t even look a homeless person in the eye.
Underneath the dirty and disheveled exterior is a human being with the same feelings and emotions as the rest of us, but those often get overlooked and ignored.
Katy Hurst was grabbing some food at a Burger King in Independence, Missouri, when she saw something she couldn’t ignore. A man was sitting at one of the tables inside the restaurant weeping. Though he was clearly visible through the window, everyone had passed him by, unwilling to be inconvenienced to talk to a man who was obviously in distress.
Katy recognized the man as one of their local homeless. She knew she couldn’t just leave.
“I saw him crying, he broke down and I didn’t know who this person was,” she said. “I had seen him through the community. He used to have a bike with a cart.”
Katy went inside and started talking to the man. She learned his name was Pops and he was 57 years old. He told her he suffers from constant pain and at that moment was praying for an angel to “take him home.”
“I told him there’s a place at the table he set for me, I’m hungry, I’m ready to eat…if there’s room prepared for me, I’d like to come home,” Pops said. “I was lonely, I was sad, I kept having one bad time after the next.”
But Katy told him he wasn’t going to die that day. She offered to let him stay at her place that day, and as he told her more of his story her heart broke.
Pops told Katy he had been beaten and robbed several times. He was suffering from several injuries, including some broken bones. Katy took him to the hospital where they discovered the full extent of his injuries.
“He said, ‘I have a broken collarbone, I have broken ribs, I’ve been beaten up,’” Katy recalled. “He needed somebody to step in and help him. That’s what I did.”
Katy decided to turn to social media to help Pops get back on his feet. She set up a YouCaring page to raise money and asked people on Facebook to donate clothing and other items that he needed.
“Pops needs our help to show him that this world is still full of good people!” she wrote.
Soon, donations and offers to help began pouring in. More than $8,600 has already been raised for Pops’ medical costs and he has also received a hot bath, a nice haircut, and several hot meals.
“He was very nice and a soft-spoken gentleman,” said hairstylist Pamela Denson, who cut Pops’ hair. “He said all he did was pray. The only way he knew how to ask for help was to pray.”
Katy said she hopes to raise enough money to find some housing for Pops so he can start a new life.
“We have to help each other and helping each other helps all of us,” she said.
We all have a little good inside us. So share it!