MARIN CITY, Calif. – A homeless man is thanking a new friend for helping him get back on his feet and secure a job, and it all started with lunch.
Adam August who lives in California wrote a blog post on Quora explaining how his friendship with a homeless man named Tarec Atkinson began.
“I’ve seen this guy at a Starbucks in Marin City several times,” August wrote. “Every time I’d see him him I’d tell myself that I would take him to lunch but always found an excuse not to.”
On that particular day, August invited Atkinson to have lunch with him. Over lunch, he learned Atkinson was born in Jamaica. He moved to the U.S. 8 years ago, and for the past year, he’s lived in a tent by the highway.
“Tarec goes days without eating, sometimes living off of the berries he picks, he spends 90% of his time alone and has no friends and no family in the states,” wrote August.
He found out the that Atkinson hadn’t had a proper shower in a month, so August brought him to his apartment to get cleaned up.
At the end of their time together, August offered to drive Atkinson around to local businesses to apply for a job.
Later that week, the two went shopping for new clothes for Atkinson. August said he looked like a totally different person in his shirt and slacks.
“I was blown away at the immediate change in his demeanor. His smile was radiant, he stood up straighter and even walked with a swagger,” wrote August.
After shopping, they visited several businesses but quickly learned most of them asked for online applications. So August took Atkinson to their local library.
“And let me tell you something,” wrote August. “We take our computer literacy for granted. Watching him struggle to fill out an application put so much into perspective for me… I saw firsthand how the ‘system’ is set up to fail people like Tarec. There is no way he would have been able to do any of this without my help.”
August said after a week of phone interviews, he drove Atkinson to Safeway for an in-person interview.
“I dropped him off, wished him luck and waited. 20 minutes later, I see him walk out of Safeway with a big smile and a thumbs up. I let out a Rick Flair sounding ‘WOO!'”
They celebrated Atkinson’s accomplishment with ice cream.
August hopes others are inspired by his story.
“We all need help in one way or another. Sometimes all someone needs is a friend,” wrote August.