One of my very good friends and colleagues, Emily, experienced an interaction with two homeless people last fall that was incredibly touching. In NYC, we walk past the homeless time and time again and for some, they become invisible. Let's remember that they too, are people who are capable of love and need compassion. Next time you encounter a homeless person, acknowledge them when they speak to you. Even if you don't have a dollar to give them, let them know. Trust me, they appreciate just a simple answer. This story will touch your heart.
A woman came onto the subway. It was about 10:30 on a Saturday night in Brooklyn so it was a pretty sparse train. She asked for help in a very compassionate way. Without demanding anything or giving any type of story. Two guys in their early 20s just closed up the pastry shop they work at and had three huge boxes of cream puffs. They offered her one of the boxes and she took only one saying she was trying to "cut back" and lose some weight.
She sat down on the seat next to me to enjoy her treat. A few stops later an older gentleman walked on the train asking for money. He explained that he had a wife and two kids and was waiting to get unemployment, but wouldn't receive it for some time. He had his papers to prove that he was employed, then unemployed and was doing what he could to help his family. The boys gave him a box of cream puffs. Then the woman who was enjoying her one puff gave him a dollar from the collection she had earned that night explaining that she understood how hard the system was especially with a family.