While I was walking around Miami I came across this homeless man sitting on the sidewalk. I first noticed that he had great hair and I knew right away that I needed to introduce myself to him and see what was going on with his life.
Gabriel seemed to be young maybe in his mid 30's in age. He had an amazing head of hair and a full beard.
He was a very soft spoken man. I introduced myself to him and I asked him how his day was. He said that he was doing ok, but he mentioned that he was hungry.
Having been homeless and hungry myself at one point in my life I could understand how he felt.
I asked him if he was going to be in the same spot for a few minutes and he told me yes.
I told him that I was going to get him some food. We went back to the van and put together a care package of food for Gabriel. The bag consisted of Cookies, banana, orange, apple, a bottle of water, instant Mac and Cheese and a can of soup.
When we returned to the spot Gabriel was still there. I presented him with the bag of goods and he seemed very grateful. I asked if I could take his picture and told him that I like to photograph street people and document it on my website. he smiled a bit at me and gave me a nod of acknowledgment.
His hands were dirty and his fingernails were long and dirty. I asked if I could shoot hit hands and he said yes.
As a former homeless person I understand the importance of getting help from strangers. Gabriel seemed to be grateful for our conversation and his care package.
I was filled with gratitude to be able to help him and meet him. I feel blessed to have met him and to pass on some good fortune to Gabriel.
One thing that I notice when I see homeless people is that most people pass by without paying attention. I am a firm believer that some human interaction is all a homeless person wants. A simple hello, or a simple gesture goes a long way. Its not all about the money. We did not give Gabriel any money. We gave hime something more valuable than money. We have him our time, some conversation, a smile and some food.
A smile goes a long way.