Some of the young men Martin has been helping
So this homeless guy stands begging on the corner down the road from me.
I have been helping him out for 18 months with a bit of money for shelter and food etc.
I had an idea, a risky one many would think.
Basically there is no way he will ever get a job.
He lives and sleeps in the same filthy outfit, day in day out.
When I once gave him a new toothbrush and toothpaste he said he hadn’t brushed his teeth in over a year.
He cant walk into a prospective employer looking and smelling like that.
I thought if we could clean him up- he may have a standing chance?
Many of the homeless people I have given clothes to sell them immediately for this reason or that.
So, I took a risk and last week i pulled over and handed him a bag.
In it were my new trainers, my favorite Nike jacket, a new pair of Levis jeans and a new NYC baseball cap.
Along with that was shampoo, soap, body lotion and deodorant. And a towel.
All I said was, ‘ clean up, dress up and go find a job’
24 hour later he ran up to my car as I waited at a red light.
He RAN up to me.
With tears in his eyes he said on his very first stop, at a local supermarket store, he cold called the manager, in person.
The manager said to him that he had ‘style’ and looked to ‘have money and respectability’
After a two minute verbal interview, Sthe (23) was offered a job working at the supermarket, starting next week.
He was crying because at age 23 it is his first job ever. He lost his parents when he was 12 and has been on the street for 11 years.
He told me it has changed his life and that ‘giyahamba phezule manje’ (I am going up now!)
I wont miss my jacket or jeans.
I wear out a pair of shoes in a month.
The look on his face will last a lifetime