A couple of weeks ago I saw a video of a good guy going out of his way helping a homeless man. I knew I had to get to know him.
Adam August kept seeing a homeless man at Starbucks. One day when he was lonely, he asked the man, “Do you want to have lunch with me?”
Adam found out Tarec Atkinson moved from Jamaica to the states over 8 years ago. For the past year, Tarec had lived in a tent by the highway, at times going days without eating.
When Tarec told Adam it had been over a month since he’d last bathed, Adam invited him to shower at his place.
“I told Tarec that I would drive around with him…and help him fill out applications,” Adam wrote. “…to help him land a job so he can get back on his feet.”
But, Tarec didn’t have appropriate interview clothes. Adam took him to a store to get a new shirt and slacks.
“I was blown away at the immediate change in his demeanor,” Adam wrote. “His smile was radiant, he stood up straighter, and even walked with a swagger.”
They went to multiple stores to fill out job applications, but soon discovered a majority of the chains required online application submissions.
Adam took Tarec to the library to fill out applications, but soon found out Tarec wasn’t computer illiterate.
“Watching him struggle to fill out an application put so much into perspective for me,” Adam wrote. “Some people judge our homeless. We’ve all heard someone say, ‘why don’t they just get a job?’ or ‘they’re lazy’. I saw firsthand how ‘the system’ is set up to fail people like Tarec…We all need a little help.”
Tarec soon landed an interview at a grocery store.
“I remember driving to Safeway being nervous,” Adam wrote. “I looked over to him and asked how he was feeling. He looked back at me and said, ‘I got this’. I believe him.”
Adam dropped him off and waited. 20 minutes later, Tarec emerged with “a big smile and a thumbs up.”
Tarec was unable to keep his job, but as I found out in our interview, Adam never lost hope in him. Breaking the poverty mindset doesn’t happen over night.
Adam created a GoFundMe, and has since raised over $15,000. He helped Tarec to get a plane ticket so he could reunite with him family. Adam hopes to join Tarec in Jamaica soon.