It was a bitterly cold morning. I was practically jogging to the coffee shop because I was so cold. That’s when I saw a child sitting at the “homeless spot’, it’s a spot that’s out in the open but next to a store that is always busy so a good place for gathering some change. It was so cold that the regulars (homeless people) of the block were nowhere to be found. Thus, I was surprised to see this child, he must be about 12, and I have often seen him with his friends on public transport and around the campus.
In the US, I had never encountered a homeless child before and therefore, for a second I felt he wasn’t homeless. Thus, I walked past him, but something didn’t feel right. So, I walked back to him and asked, ‘Are you okay?’. He replied, ‘No, I’m homeless’. His voice quivered. Every time I meet a homeless person, I feel my privilege slap me in the face and my helplessness knocks my breath out. Gathering the strength to not cry, I asked him how I could help. He replied, ‘I am hungry’. I said, ‘Okay, I’ll be right back’.
I ran to the coffee shop and ordered a hot chocolate and a sandwich. I quickly handed it to him and suggested he sit in the coffee shop as it was open till late in the night. He thanked me. I wish I could have done more. I prayed for him as that’s the only thing I knew I could do. I was grateful to see that a while later some of his friends came to pick him up and took him home.
Help whenever you can and pray when you can’t.