When you see a homeless person on the street, do you ignore them? Give them a little change? Direct them to the nearest social service center?
A Canadian woman went even further than that. At the time, you may not have realized the profound impact your simple act of kindness could have, but your compassion has had life-changing repercussions.
Kim Cormier was working out of his home in Kingston, Ontario, when David McDonald’s scooter blew out a tire. Although he was a stranger, she agreed to keep an eye on his things so they wouldn’t be stolen while he went to find a new inner tube.
When McDonald returned from his errand, not only were his things still there, Cormier invited him to dinner. Over lunch, McDonald, Cormier, and their partner Andrew Embury fell into an easy, if unexpected, camaraderie that was the beginning of what turned into a beautiful friendship.
For McDonald, the path to homelessness began in 2010 when it suffered a series of personal and financial setbacks. The gas station he owned collapsed. Soon after, his truck and home followed him. Later, he and his partner of many years separated.
By 2016, McDonald was homeless and living in a Toronto park. “I couldn’t imagine being homeless. I cried, “McDonald said. CBC. “And that’s why it was difficult for me to accept help … charity.”
Although McDonald receives a financial stipend from the government, he turned down homeless services because he says “other people are worse off” than him and need them more.
From that Toronto park, McDonald’s bounced, stayed with relatives when he could, and eventually ended up in a shared one-bedroom apartment. But faced with the daily dangers of theft and threats of violence, he found himself back on the streets, dividing his days between a tent and an abandoned transport trailer.
In the months that followed, McDonald and Cormier kept in touch. She and her partner began helping McDonald’s with donations of clothing, shoes, and a solar-powered backpack that allowed her to keep her cell phone charged.
Finally, the couple told McDonald that they could install rooms in their backyard. Thanks to a sister, McDonald got a new tent equipped with a mattress, sofa, and refrigerator.
An outdoor fireplace has been serving as McDonald’s makeshift kitchen and has been granted in-house bathroom and laundry privileges.
But since the tent was only suitable for three seasons, Cormier came up with a plan to provide McDonald’s with a more permanent shelter to keep him warm in the winter too.
With a goal of $ 18,000, Cormier launched an online fundraiser to buy McDonald’s his own little house.
“We are trying to raise as much money as possible to help ease the financial burden on ourselves and David’s monthly contribution from collecting aluminum cans and his monthly ODSP housing allowance,” he explained in the campaign. GoFundMe page.
“Once we have paid the full price for the micro house, the ownership will be transferred to David’s name and he will finally own his own house again. Our long-term goal is for David to own his micro-home and move it to a forever place where he can live and regain a sense of independence again. “
The response, including a single donation of $ 2,500 from a loving Samaritan, was so overwhelming that the full amount was soon raised. The McDonald’s micro-house will be delivered before the cold weather starts.
While the new tiny house can be transported anywhere, Cormier says that since he considers McDonald “part of the family,” he can stay as long as he wants.
For McDonald, Cormier’s measure of generosity isn’t about material things, it’s about the value of being treated with human dignity and respect.
“You have to swallow your pride when you are homeless,” he told CBC. “She has done more than I can be grateful for.”
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