Police Officer Spends Lunch Break Sharing Pizza With A Homeless Woman When He Spots Her Tshirt
"Homeless. The fastest way of becoming a nobody."
Anyone can fall through the cracks of the system. All it takes is one mistake or bad encounter to have everything taken and lose all material belongings. Many declare bankruptcy every single day. Yet, we still judge them for their difficulty on getting back up.
For one woman, she understood exactly how others saw her so she wrote it on her shirt. She probably didn't expect much out of it until she crossed paths with police officer Michael Rivers.
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Meet Officer Michael Rivers
Goldsboro Police Department / Facebook
Officer Michael Rivers works for the Goldsboro Police Department. In his almost decade of work he has seen quite the fair share of the homeless community often occupying the same streets he works on. At times he even recognizes them as he crosses them again on the street.
However, this time it wasn't the homeless woman that caught his eye, but the powerful message that she had handwritten on her white shirt.
A Shirt With A Special Message
Chris Barnes / Facebook
The woman wore a shirt that said: "Homeless. The fastest way of becoming a nobody." At first, Michael simply said hello to her and moved on as he usually would. But this time, he simply couldn't get the statement on her shirt off his mind.
The rates of homelessness in America are skyrocketing. The stats from January 2020 show that on any given night there were 580,466 people experiencing homelessness in America. That's half a million people with 30% of which are families with children. They are surviving in every state and territory and they come from every racial diversity in the country.
Michael Wanted To Make A Difference
Matt Collamer / Unsplash
Michael had two options. He could have gone on with his day as normal as most people would and let the woman figure the rest out for herself. But in an interview with CNN, Michael explains that something kept pulling him to go back to that woman and talk to her.
The 29-year-old finally decided to use his lunch break to show that woman some kindness, to show her that maybe she isn't a nobody after all. She is human and for that, she should matter. Michael stated: "God put it on my heart to get her lunch, so I turned around and I asked her, 'Hey, did you eat today?' And she said, 'No.'"
Michael Got Them Both Pizzas To Share
Alan Hardman / Unsplash
Michael went to the pizza place around the corner and grabbed some standard pepperoni and cheese pizzas before sitting down with the woman on the grass.
He spent all 45 minutes of his lunch break in conversation with the woman. He did not appear to judge but was likely the only person to listen to her story that day and make her feel valued. This is how Michael found out that the woman's name was Michelle and that she actually had a 12-year-old daughter who is battling liver disease and in foster care.
Michelle Was On A Difficult Path
Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash
Michelle is living proof that you should never judge a book by its cover. She may have ended up on the streets but she was still a human being and a mother to a 12-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old son. She was also a wife to a man who was homeless and sitting across the street. Michael quickly found that although the pizza was great, their conversation was so much better.
He even realized that he was not that different from Michelle after all. He was a police officer who often got painted in a negative light when associated with law enforcement in general. He had often experienced judgment from society and he knew that a person could not always be blamed for the circumstances of their situation.
The Heartwarming Encounter Was Captured By A Passerby
Solen Feyissa / Unsplash
Michael didn't go speak to Michelle for attention, despite his story being shared by thousands who found it inspiring. He didn't think anyone would be watching when a passerby took a picture of him with Michelle and shared it with her husband Chris Barnes who then posted it on Facebook with the caption: "Cassie was out on her lunch break and observed Goldsboro’s Finest enjoying lunch with a homeless person. Law enforcement does so much for our community, with a lot of it going unnoticed. We see you Goldsboro P.D. Keep up the good work."
From there the photo got share after share, with many wanting to raise awareness for the homeless community in hopes that more people will show them this kind of kindness instead of passing judgment.
It Is Up To Each One Of Us To Make A Difference
Hannah Busing / Unsplash
Reflecting on the situation Machel wished everyone understood that "homeless people are just people who are down on their luck." "It can happen to anybody." When he goes to work every day, his thinking is : "Who can I bless today? Who can I make smile?'"
You can be a blessing to some too with small thoughtful actions. Imagine how much better the world would be if we each found our purpose and helped others reach theirs. Take a quick zodiac reading here to find out what your universe has to say about you right now. Understand your purpose and your potential so that you can take control of your emotions, your life, and your future by clicking HERE.