Luann Cofield went to her local Fayetteville, Georgia McDonald’s. Fayetteville is located outside of Atlanta, and nine percent of the population is living in poverty. One day, when she saw something that she found offensive. There was a homeless man sleeping in a booth inside the restaurant. She went to the counter to tell the staff about the man sleeping in the booth. When she told them, she didn’t get the response that she expected. The McDonald’s employees didn’t seem to care, and they brushed it off. They didn’t think that it was a big deal.
It Is a Big Deal
Even though the staff didn’t seem to care about the homeless man sleeping in the restaurant, Luann thought that it was a bid deal. Not everyone in town can afford the basics in life, and this was something that Luann just didn’t understand. When the staff dismissed her complaints, she decided to use social media to air her grievance. She even took a picture of the man sleeping in the booth. She was sure that she would get the support from social media that she wasn’t getting from the McDonald’s employees.
Luann took a photo of the man and added a caption that read, “Just another reason for me to leave Fayetteville. I was in the McDonald’s in the middle of town, and I saw this guy sleeping in the booth, I go and tell an employee that someone is asleep in their booth and her response was oh yeah, we know hee hee, it’s ok, and I said, ‘not really but whatever.” She ended the post with an angry emoji, letting people know that she was angered by the man sleeping, and even more angered by the fact that the staff didn’t care.
The man who was sleeping in the booth was Simon Childs, a 21-year-old McDonald’s employee. He was taking a break between the shifts he was working. He was homeless, and he was working multiple shifts each day trying to save money for a place of his own. To make matters worse, he recently became a father, so he didn’t have enough money to help support his son and afford rent, so he chose to be homeless and help support his son. He also just recently lost his mother, which made things even more complicated for the young father. At an age and a time when he needed his mother’s support, she wasn’t around to give it to him. He was working so much that he had to take a nap whenever possible, even if it meant sleeping between shifts in the restaurant.
With all of the things that Simon was dealing with, the last thing that he needed was to be shamed online. That is precisely what Luann was doing when she shared the photo of him sleeping at work. This just added to his stress. He says that it really hurt him to see his picture on Facebook when the last thing that he needed in his life was negativity. He decided to roll with the punches. He figured that people wouldn’t care, and he could go on with his life. He didn’t expect it to be a big deal, but he was wrong.
A few days after Luann aired her grievances on Facebook, Simon went to work to find something shocking. There were diapers, clothes, and other baby supplies at McDonald’s waiting for him. People had donated these items to help Simon and his son. People found out why Simon was sleeping in the restaurant, and they were very supportive. The help that he was receiving from the community was incredible, and within a few days, they had changed his life.
Fusion Chefs Eatery
Two chefs from Fusion Chefs Eatery stepped up to the plate, and they offered him the use of a car to get to job interviews. They believed that if he had better job opportunities, that it would help his situation. The two brothers, Xavier and Theo Thomas understood Simon’s struggles, and with their restaurant doing well, they were able to pay it forward. They wanted to help him get more opportunities.
A local barber reached out to Simon and offered to give him a haircut to better his chance of getting a higher-paying job. Soon, job opportunities started pouring in. People even donated brand new clothes for Simon to wear to interviews. The generosity of the community humbled him. Someone donated a hotel room for Simon and his son until he was able to find a place of his own. His life had changed entirely in a matter of days. A GoFundMe page was set up for him, but he didn’t want to take the money. Instead, he wanted ti to be donated to other homeless people.
Meeting With Luann
Simon says that he has no ill will toward Luann for shaming him on social media. He wanted to let her know that he didn’t hold a grudge. Luann agreed to meet with him to apologize for exploiting his situation. When she found out the real reason that he was sleeping in the restaurant, she felt terrible.
A Better Life
Even though Luann meant for her post to be negative, it changed his life for the better. He has a temporary roof over his head, and he has a good-paying job with a construction company, which means that soon, he will be able to afford his own apartment. The GoFundMe page has doubled its goal for donations, and there is $10,000 in the account that is designed for the homeless. Simon says that if it weren’t for Luann, he wouldn’t have received that help that he needed to get back on his own feet. After a woman shamed a homeless employee online, locals took matters into their own hands, and they changed the man’s life forever.