Stefanie Minnaar shared a beautiful story of meeting a homeless man, giving him a chance and being repaid in the most unexpected way.
South Africa (20 February 2023) – Sometimes all a person needs in life, is a chance and someone to believe in them. Stefanie Minnaar gave a young homeless man a chance and learned so much more.
The young man fell on hard times at the beginning of the pandemic and never quite managed to find his feet. Stefanie gave him a chance and it changed how society treated him too.
He decided to repay her kindness and the moment touched our hearts. This is their story:
An evening with a homeless person by Stefanie Minnaar
I want to send a heartfelt thanks to the number of earth angels in South Africa who are actively involved with shelters, soup kitchens and other initiatives. I have helped on numerous occasions, as and where I could.
This story is about a decent person who ran into difficult times. He is a 30-something-year-old homeless guy in my hometown that crossed my path recently. He is a few years older than my young adults, who had the opportunity to study and have good jobs. I spotted him at our local Spar late one afternoon. He was not begging. He was sitting on steps at the end of the Shopping Centre, with extremely swollen bare feet and crutches and a tiny little backpack next to him. Beautiful thick hair and a full beard. Staring into space. I went to chat to him and enquired about his feet. This was due to a bad diet, hours of walking and who knows what else. The local government hospital gave him the crutches and a few tablets. He did not ask me for anything. I offered to buy him something to eat and bought him some healthy wraps and water.
Something about this guy just got to me. I know there will be responses about the risk that I took, but I do believe in my gut feel. I was home alone. I asked him whether he would like to come and have a shower, change into clean clothes and have a proper meal. I offered him accommodation for the night. He was astonished. It took him a few minutes to walk from my garage to my property. He showered for a long time and I gave him two sets of clothing. We spoke about his life, books that he likes and life in general. And loneliness and feeling invisible on the streets. Not easy to comprehend. He used to work at a local restaurant before hard lockdown. I did not ask him about drugs or any possible addictions as I felt it was none of my business. He had lost 32 kgs since he landed on the streets. His mom is deceased and his father cannot take him in as his own circumstances are grim. He had a good meal and coffee, declined a glass of wine. We spoke about the local shelters. I really hope he will consider this as an option.
The relief I saw on his face when he lifted those swollen feet onto my spare bed was so touching. He had not slept in a bed for two years. The next morning, he asked whether he could use a disposable razor to shave. Took him a long time. He had a long shower. I dropped him with a bigger backpack, clothes, a cushion, a throw and some books. He lives in a veldt on a quiet street. I hope he can hang on to these few earthly possessions. For the next two weeks, I did not see him again at the Spar or vicinity. A few nights ago, he found me as I came out of the Spar and asked me to wait. His feet were still a bit swollen, but looked better. He came back with a chocolate for me. Aww. Told me that he was treated a lot better after he could clean up. More people are helping him with decent food and there is a job possibility at a good Samaritan.
May good karma follow him. To the earth angels out there that are involved with the homeless daily, bless you abundantly.