“Redditors Who Have been Homeless, What’s the Nicest Thing a Stranger Did to Help You?”

On 13 September 2014, Redditor snl315 asked, “Redditors who have been homeless, what’s the nicest thing a stranger did to help you?” Here are some replies:

1) JuliaCthulia wrote, “A kind lady took me to the Cheesecake Factory, bought me all the food I could eat, and drove me to the train station where she bought me a ticket to San Jose so I could stay with my grandmother.”

2) Thatcolourblinddude wrote, “When I first came home from a deployment, I didn’t have a place to stay due to a screw-up in some paperwork. Well, an older gent at a 7-11 listened to my story and let me crash on his couch for a few days, complete with food. He refused all payment and was the most gracious host ever.”

3) pyropup55 wrote, “Treated me like a person. The shelter I was at, every night dinner was provided by volunteers. There was one church group that would come in. Serve dinner on real plates, real silverware. It was like having dinner with an extended family. They would also collect prayer requests and requests for any small items, like batteries or socks, and then bring them the following time. I now volunteer at the shelter and have been doing that for almost 4 years now.”

4) Kaysie wrote, “I was living in an extended stay for a period of time. I had a decent full-time job, but my husband was very ill and an extended stay was cheaper than rent + bills in our area. The security desk at my job called me over a few weeks before Christmas and handed me a Christmas card. Inside there was $100 signed by ‘Clarence’. Security wouldn’t tell me who left it. We were able to stock up some food and give my 1-year-old some Christmas gifts. We were planning on skipping Christmas altogether. It took me a good two weeks to figure out ‘Clarence’ was a reference to It’s a Wonderful Life.”

5) me_elmo wrote, “When I was a little kid, we were poor, and my father […] became schizophrenic [and] tried to kill my mother, so my mom had to flee with me and my sister. She called the cops, but they weren’t much help (told her to get a restraining order). We literally had nowhere to go. Finally this one woman my mom sort of knew took us in and let us stay in her basement for two weeks until my dad was finally arrested, diagnosed, and committed. Then we were able to return home, change the locks, get a restraining order, etc. But for those two weeks, that woman’s kindness was so nice as my mom had no access to money, bank accounts, etc.”

6) scaireejack wrote this:

“When I was homeless during my teenage years, I thought, ‘What the hell, if I’m going to be homeless I might as well be homeless everywhere’ and started hitch hiking. There are 3 specific instances that gave me hope for humanity.

“One night I got a ride from a man who ended up trying to rape me. I forced the car over and got out, but he followed me up the side of the highway as I tried desperately to get another car’s attention. A man in a pick-up truck saw me and gave me a ride. This guy was the nicest man I have ever met. He offered me cigarettes and a place to stay for the night. In order to make me feel more comfortable, he first drove to the nearest police station and slowly drove to his place from there pointing out all the street names. He was divorced and didn’t have his son that night so I got his son’s room. He gave me a clean towel and let me use his shower, and introduced me to his GIANT f[**]king wolves that he had. When I woke up in the morning, there was already a cigarette waiting for me. That morning he drove me to a coffee shop on a major highway [and] gave me money for breakfast and a pack of smokes. I don’t know if he realizes he was my hero that night.

“While I was on the road, I often left my belongings at information centers. I would just ask them to keep them behind the counter and [I would] come back for them before they closed; that way if I wanted to explore the city I didn’t have to carry everything with me. In Charlottetown I went to go get my belongings and the young gentleman who had been working the desk began to ask questions, as they often do. He wanted to know why I was hitch hiking, where I planned to stay, how I made money, etc. After a little bit of talking, he offered to drive me to another city (Summerside, I think) as that is where he was going. When we got there, I just asked for him to drop me off at a forest or park nearby so I could sleep for the night. He drove all the way to the edge of a forest and then turned the car right around. He told me he just couldn’t drop a young woman off to sleep in the woods alone. He drove me to a motel and paid for the night.

“When I first got to PEI, I was in Borden for a little while. Usually I just played my guitar to get money for food, but I just seemed to be invisible to everyone that day. So, instead, I went into one of the restaurants and asked to speak with the manager. I asked him if he had any work that needed to be done, like cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, [cleaning] dishes, etc. that I could do in exchange for a meal. He stared at me for a moment, then handed me a menu and told me to sit down and order anything I wanted, no charge. He even kept sending me food while I was looking at the menu.

“I actually have a lot of pleasant experiences, as well as some terrible ones. Most of the pleasant ones were while I was on the road. I would love to be able to thank the people whom I met along the way who helped me out, they are wonderful people, and I think about all of them quite often and wonder if they remember me.”

For More Information: snl315, “Redditors who have been homeless, what’s the nicest thing a stranger did to help you?” Reddit. 13 September 2014


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