Acts of Kindness
Young woman buys meal for homeless man, then he hands her a crumpled piece of paper
They were meant to meet that day.
D.G. Sciortino

In a world where cash is king, the unhoused are a reviled population to some.

Even though 40 percent of Americans were just one missed paycheck away from poverty as of 2019.

And the fact that 59 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

Or that after the pandemic, 4 million more people were thrust into poverty.

Pixabay - Leroay_Skalstad
Pixabay - Leroay_Skalstad

Did we mention “inflation,” which has increased basic necessities like food? Or record high rent prices?

As of July, the national median rent was $1,879, according to CNN.

Since rent should only take up about 30 percent of our annual income, you’d need to make $75,160 annually to afford that rent.

However, the median salary in the U.S. is only $53,924. It’s left many people without a home, including those on fixed budgets like the elderly.

The New York Times reports that shelters in the U.S. have seen a significant increase in people looking for help.

Applicants have doubled or tripled in certain circumstances. A recent study found that about 40 percent of those living in shelters had formal employment.

Aisha Hobson, a 41-year-old who works 40 to 48 hours per week at two different hospitals, now lives in an Encanto, CA, parking lot.

“The sad part is, even with the upbringing and doing things the right way, you still can fall,” Hobson told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“Not only because the rent increases have hiked up, but so many other things. But just trying to find somewhere and find a vacancy, it’s so hard. I make pretty decent money.”

“If I’m not hearing ‘We don’t have the vacancies,’ I’m hearing ‘Oh well, you have to have a better credit score.'”

Pixabay - StopSnap
Pixabay - StopSnap

Until Hobson finds something, she prays. So, how are our elected officials responding to the homeless crisis?

Some with punishment.

Missouri just made it illegal for people to sleep on state-owned land in places like parks or under bridges.

Pixbay - ArtTower
Pixbay - ArtTower

New York City plans to involuntarily hospitalize people who are homeless and deemed as “unable to take care of their basic needs,” whether or not they appear to be in danger to themselves or others.

Being homeless is traumatizing in itself without poverty being criminalized.

But there are those who do value Creation in all its forms.

Casey Fischer’s kindness toward an unhoused man saved his life.

Fischer, a real estate agent, was grabbing some coffee when she spotted a man sitting on the side of the road in Guilford, CT.

He was counting his change, and she decided to “annoy” him with friendly conversation.

She bought him a coffee and a bagel and asked him to sit with her to chat.

Pixabay - useche70
Pixabay - useche70

“He told me a lot about how people are usually very mean to him because he’s homeless, how drugs turned him into the person he hated, he lost his mom to cancer, he never knew his dad, and he just wants to be someone his mom would be proud of (along with another hour’s worth of conversation). This lovely man’s name was Chris and Chris was one of the most honest & sincere people I’ve ever met,” Fischer explained in a Facebook post.

Before leaving, he crumpled up a handwritten note and handed it to her before apologizing for his “shaky handwriting” and leaving her with a smile.

“I wanted to kill myself today because of u. I now do not. Thank u, beautiful person.”

All it took was a simple kind gesture of a coffee, bagel, and conversation to save a life.

During the pandemic, we were so obsessed with saving lives. It’d be nice if we could still be as concerned with saving people’s lives—all lives, whether housed or not. But we can start as Fischer did, with an act of kindness.

You can read Fischer’s full post below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Love What Matters, CNN

By D.G. Sciortino
[email protected]
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at [email protected]