Every time I see a homeless person, my heart hurts. It feels wrong that some people are warm, safe and have a roof over their heads while others are forced to sleep outside at night. And it’s even more unjust now that it’s winter and cold outside.
Many people probably feel this way, but who among us actually does anything about it?
Well, one person who did is a man in Myrtle Beach, Florida. He decided to buy a meal for a homeless man recently. But the reaction from his community didn’t turn out as he expected.
The man saw a homeless man and couldn’t just pass him by without doing anything. So he offered to buy the guy a hamburger at McDonalds.
They went in together and the man bought two meals, one for himself and one for the homeless man.
Then, they sat down at separate tables and ate in silence.
But suddenly, the mood changed when a police entered the restaurant. She went straight to the homeless man and told him that he wasn’t welcome there. She told him to eat his food as quickly as possible and leave the restaurant.
The man looked confused and wondered what he was doing wrong.
Soon, the man who bought the food decided to intervene. He told the officer that he was the one who paid for the burger and that he did it completely voluntarily. Then, he got angry and raised the voice.
The police officer then told the homeless man that he was begging inside a restaurant and had to leave. The argument became increasingly intense and finally, the restaurant manager asked both men to leave.
The man had bought the homeless man his meal and he did it without asking. But that didn’t seem to matter. In the end, both men were kicked out before they could even finish their food.
The event was captured on camera and posted on Facebook last week. Now, it’s been seen by more than 75 million people and has received a lot of angry comments. Several commenters are calling on people to complain to the restaurant directly about their treatment of the homeless man.
Watch the video here:
Given all the negative attention, you might think that the McDonald’s staff might come to regret kicking the men out. But they defended the event in a comment.
Restaurant manager Joel Pellicci writes that the homeless man “has a history of disruptive behavior and has been asked to leave by management and police on several occasions.”
He believes that the man has disturbed customers before and isn’t welcome there, even if he pays for himself.
What really happened in the past, we’ll probably never know. But in any case, I think that this man has the same right to eat at McDonald’s as everyone else.
It’s sad that it turned out the way it did. Unfortunately, it’s probably not the last time a homeless person will be discriminated against and treated badly just for being homeless.
I’d like to express my gratitude to the man who bought the food — at least his heart is in the right place! We need more people like him in the world!
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