Let’s show each other some compassion.

Yesterday Gary and I were walking back to the car, when he said:
“That’s sad, there’s a homeless guy over there and he’s crying.”
Me:
“Let’s go over and talk to him.”

We spoke to him and this is his story.
His name is William and he was brought up in care because his parents died when he was 11, He has been on the streets for around 8 months, and couldn’t sign on to job seekers because he had no ID.. he has just recently secured himself a passport, and this now means he can actively look for jobs, and sign on. He had been looking but as he had no clean clothes, he knew he was getting knocked back because of the way he looked.
The reason he is currently on the streets is because his ex and he had a baby, who had died of cot death, and although there was nothing either of them could have done, to prevent it from happening, they blamed each other constantly and got into many fights concluding in her throwing him out.

He has no family, except for a sister; who is not biologically his sister. She tries to support him but due to having 6 young children of her own, he doesn’t want to get under her feet, also the sister has a child the same age as his little baby that passed away. And he finds it increasingly difficult to be around them at the moment.

He asks for money because the local homeless shelter was closed and he needed money to catch a train to another homeless shelter for a place to sleep for the night. He had previously chanced his luck and got caught by the ticket conductor and was fined £50 on the spot.

William is only 24.

He is not a drinker or takes drugs and this was verified by the shop owner a few doors down.

Gary and I gave William some money, and even went to the train station to enquire how much a ticket would cost, unfortunately it was far more than William had first told us, so we reluctantly decided not to purchase him a ticket.

When we went back to see him, he was walking towards us., in the direction of the town centre.

“Oh, you came back, I thought you weren’t coming back…”

We explained that we enquired about a ticket but they were far more expensive than he ad said, he was apologetic and said that he didn’t think we would check, and he was sorry because he knew just how expensive the tickets really were.

Throughout our entire conversation, you could really tell William was really down, and out on his luck. But he was also extremely grateful to us for stopping not only to chat, but that we gave him some money, so he could feed himself and have a place to sleep for the night.
Logistically he still didn’t have enough money to cover a train fare, so we suggested him explaining his situation to the bus driver to see if he would possibly drop him near to the shelter a few towns over. Which he agreed he would do. He hugged us both and we parted ways.

***

Gary and I truly felt for William, and his desperate circumstances, and we said we would keep an eye out for him, and if we saw him again we would take him out for lunch.

***

On our way to the train station we encountered yet another homeless guy who was asking for money, and I could hear the desperation in his voice and it made my heart break. Gary apologised and said we didn’t have any money.

William, and this other man have been playing upon my mind since our encounter, I felt awful that Gary and I were going out of our way to help one homeless person, and yet did nothing for another.

I’ve cried over this situation, because I truly feel helpless.

I could have been them.

If I didn’t have friends who allowed me to sofa surf while I tried my best to look for accommodation, It could have been me desperate for a roof over my head, wondering if I too was going to have to sleep rough.

***

Gary and I had a long discussion about it and he was the one that not only said I should write this blog post, but made me see that I can’t help everyone.

As we passed the homeless guy twice, not one other person around us stopped to talk to him and/or offer him any money.

Gary reminded me that i can’t carry the world on my shoulders and it’s not just MY responsibility to stop and speak to a homeless person.
My depression has come back and Gary doesn’t want me to get worse because I feel guilty and useless being unable to help people.

We have since come up with a solution, that I feel I am helping, but without putting myself out of pocket, or spiralling further deeper into depression.

On Monday I am going to contact my local homeless shelter / soup kitchen and see if I can volunteer my time, even if that is just being a friendly ear for people to talk to, or give homeless people further information of where they can go for support / services.

***

I know that we get caught up in our daily lives, our struggles, our stresses and our plight, but I would urge you to take the time out to talk to a homeless person, and even give them some change.

You don’t know the difference it would make to that person in question.

I would like to point out that I am not naive not everyone is in a similar situation to William, some people have put themselves there, with their lack of good financial management, through drink/ drug abuse.

But, we are still all human, and I do believe that we should strive to help our citizens get back on their feet.

Drug/ drink abuse should be supported through rehab programs. No matter how angry I get at people for their ill choices, poor management, and a drain on the NHS, I still believe everyone deserves that second chance to try and put their lives right.

Please, show some compassion. It might make all the difference.




19 comments on “Please, Show Some Compassion”

  1. I am one of those that get caught up in my own trials and tribulations. Having read everything you have said, I have taken it on board and will endeavor to show more compassion towards other people.

    It’s sad that what Garry and yourself did stands out as such an overwhelming gesture of kindness due to it being so out of the ordinary. You’d think that we would strive to help our fellow man when they are down on their luck and even our own government wont help them because they are unable to supply a document with a photograph and a name next to it.

    The fact that here in the UK a first world country, we still rely on charities to feed, clothe and house those most needing help makes me sick to the stomach. But yet I too don’t go out of my way to help people in the way you both did.

    We all have a long way to go, as individuals and as a society on the whole. Thank you for being among those who are showing us all how it should be done.

    On a more personal note. I’m sorry to hear that your depression is making a resurgence. I know you have a network of friends around you that will be more than happy to support you and it sounds like Garry is right up there at the front helping you as much as he can. I’m glad you’re not going through this alone.

    • Hey,
      Thank you for your very lovely and sincere comment!
      Yes, I think that’s what gets to me the most; we are a first world country, derelict/ empty houses about and yet there are people on the streets.
      On top of the fact as you said, they need ID to prove that they are homeless. It really is ridiculous!

      I think I am getting there, I am very lucky to have such a fantastic support network 🙂 xxx

  2. What a wonderful person you are, Sassy. I also find it difficult seeing people in unfortunate circumstances. I think it’s great that you are going to volunteer if you can. Please don’t feel guilty or try to carry the burden, though. It’s hard but you can’t fix everything or help everyone. Just carry on being the lovely kind person you are and you make the world a little better each day!!

    • Thank you Ellen!
      That really means so much! I know I can’t change the world, and everyone’s circumstances, I just feel awful knowing that our Government is giving away Billions in aid, and yet don’t help those on their doorstep!
      xxx

  3. Ellen’s right, you have such compassion and it’s brilliant of you to volunteer, but you can’t carry everyone else’s problems on your shoulders too. You might not be solving the problem, but by giving your time, you are helping.

    Look after yourself too, depression is hard, I know as I’ve been there myself. Have you tried using mindfulness? I’ve found it so helpful since I started using it. My ‘black days’ go much more quickly now and I put that down to the mindful techniques I’ve been practising x #bigpinklink

    • Hey Sarah,

      Thank you for your kind words, I hope through volunteering I can just be there, even if it’s just for a few hours every week.

      No, I haven’t tried mindfulness, but I do plan too. I’ve been reading up on it a lot.
      And lots of people, such as yourself have rated it highly 🙂 Thank you for the tip 🙂 And sorry to hear that you too have black days xxx

  4. Oh gosh, this post really got to me. William is the same age as me, I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be in his situation. Even though you couldn’t pay for his train ticket, o bet the fact you stopped and chatted to him meant so much to him. It makes me so sad seeing homeless people and I feel bad for not giving money or even my time. This post has made me realise I need to be a better person and do a bit more xx #bigpinklink

    • Hey Wendy,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. Life just whizzes past us and without realising a week has passed, then a month and so on…

      Fingers crossed, you and others like us, can keep giving our time 🙂 xxx

  5. Sassy, this is a wonderful post and you are a truly wonderful person. Sadly, we can’t help everyone but to volunteer is an incredibly generous human thing to do and the world clearly and dearly needs more Sassys in it – I am full of total admiration for you xx #BigPinkLink

    • Hey,
      Thank you so very much! I do hope that more people would volunteer their time, but unfortunately, work and family commitments usually get in the way.
      I just hope it will help 🙂 xxx

  6. So awesome! Truthfully it could be any of us. My husband used to hang out with the homeless people at the train station near us and the truth is many of them were doing odd jobs like holding doors, carrying luggage, hailing cabs. It is sad perception based on how someone looks. I have found that people who have less most times are the ones who give to the less fortunate.

    • Hey Heidi,
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment 🙂
      Yes I think you are right, for the most part it is people who don’t have much, themselves, or understand what life could have been for them, are generally the ones who reach out first. xxx

  7. Oh Sassy, I’m so sorry that your depression has come back-I really hope you find yourself in a place where you can fight it off. You are such an incredible person, and this is such an incredible post. William’s story is truly heartbreaking, and you must’ve bought so much warmth and comfort to his day, with your kindness. I know what you mean about there being so many people to help in the world-it can get to be too much sometimes can’t it? I’m constantly saying I need to give to more charities, I need to give more blood, I really should join the bone marrow donor register, I should volunteer to talk to women with post natal depression… It goes on, but you can’t do it all! And the solution you’ve found sounds awesome! You continue to inspire me with every post. Xx
    #bigpinklink

    • Hey,
      Thank you so much for your truly lovely words! I think I am getting there, I just am very fortunate to have a fantastic bunch of people in my corner, constantly supporting me.
      In the strangest way I actually think that helping others, helps me, as it gives me focus and clarity. 🙂

      We as humans can only do so much on our own, I think as a collective we can certainly make the world a better place 🙂 xxx

  8. I live in the USA, where we are giving money, food stamps, homes and cars to people from other countries. But our government turns a blind eye to the poor, homeless and venerates.

    I think it is horrible. I help when I can. I am living month to month myself with two teens in tow. It isn’t easy some months.

    • Hey Sandy,
      It makes me really sad and annoyed that the UK and USA do this, why is it ok for our own people to be left on the streets, but others can just enter the country and get everything handed to them!

      Most homes are closer to the breadline than ever before, it’s great that you help out where you can. But definitely never forget to put your family first 🙂 xxx

  9. a sad story, and unfortunately one that is way too common. It’s scary how little it sometimes takes to put somebody in a situation like this. A bit of bad luck and things can spiral very quickly

  10. What a lovely post. Poor William, I hope he gets back on his feet soon, he sounds like a genuine person who had a run of bad luck, and let’s face it, that could happen to any one of us.
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes
    Debbie

  11. Oh sassy this is a beautiful piece. Bless you, you have such a big heart. It is a horrible situation but try not to take on the worlds problems. Do what you can within your means to help. thats all anyone can ask for
    #bigpinklink #triballove

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