Who thinks they could be on the streets in the severe weather conditions we’ve had lately? Cold, wet, wind. Actually let me rephrase that… Freezing, Drenched, No shelter. Strangers giving you dirty looks and looking down their noses at you huddled up on the stone cold, hard ground. Few people sympathizing and throwing a few pennies in your direction. Those that don’t want you too talk to them so they pretend to be busy and rush along. That’s sad isn’t it? No friends. Who wants to know you or talk to you when you don’t even have a home?
I went too my local place for good shopping just before Christmas 2013. It was heavily pouring down with rain, plus winds nearly sweeping me off my feet and I was freezing!
Must mention at this point, whenever I go to a busy shopping centre, I intend to help a homeless person and some sort of way, however I refuse to give them money. A lot of people judge homeless people and think that if you give them some money, they’re likely too spend it on drugs/alcohol/cigarettes. This is unfortunately true in some cases. However, i’m no expert in drugs, but i’m pretty sure you cant get a fix on the few pennies you’ve saved up over a few days.
Anyway. Back to my story.
As I was hurrying along to the cafe I go to for lunch, a homeless woman was huddled up on the pavement, with a few belongings. She had a soaking wet blanket pulled over her legs and a waterproof coat which was falling apart covering her head. She was soaked! Not even bothering to ask any of the passers by for ‘spare change’. As I hurried by this woman, (I was in a rush to get out of the rain) and got indoors to my cafe, I wavered for a moment. I just wanted too help in some way like I always do, but there isn’t a lot you can do when its pouring down outside. How can I keep her company and have a conversation when the weathers like that? I walked back over to the women and stood next too her, ‘Hi.’ I said, ‘Would you like to come have some lunch with me? I’m eating on my own, and could use the company!’ I stood there dancing between my feet and holding my arms because I was cold and do not enjoy getting wet. She sat still, looking at me with a faint smile of appreciation on her face. ‘I would really like that.’ She said. ‘However, someone promised me they’d come back with £5 so I can stay in a hostel tonight and I really think I should wait.’ I didn’t want too start bugging her, and didn’t want too pry. I asked if she was sure, and suggested buying her a coffee. She accepted the coffee so I went nearby too grab a coffee which was less than £1 even in the closest expensive coffee shop! And a packet of crisps. Put the 3 sugars in that she asked for, and took over a little pot of milk. ‘Thank you so much.’ She said, ‘Have a great christmas.’
I felt happy for a moment, but sad as well. I don’t think anyone will come back too give her £5.
It took 7 minutes out of my day too chat too her, buy her a coffee, and return it too her. And I’m sure that coffee warmed her up a bit, and helped her get through the day.
If she’d have come too have lunch with me, that would have been £4. I go to a bargain cafe and that’s how much a breakfast with a drink is. Too me, that’s not a lot of money for helping someone get through a day.
Just going too throw this out there as its something I feel strongly about. Maybe the next time you see a person huddled on the street, just say ‘hello, can I buy you a hot drink?’ It doesn’t take much effort, money or time. And they really do appreciate that small gesture.
“Be the change you wish too see in the world”