People usually respond one of two ways when they see a homeless person in need. Either they pretend the person doesn’t exist, or they extend their hand in generosity. Katy Hurst is among the second type. And she came upon an older man weeping while seated at a booth in Burger King in Independence, Missouri. And while everyone else was pretending that this older homeless man was not present, she knew that she couldn’t ignore it. She wanted to help even if she didn’t know how. So she did the right thing. Now her story of generosity is going viral across the country and inspiring thousands of people to be more compassionate to the homeless population that keeps growing each year.
Hurst saw the homeless man weeping in the Burger King. So she stopped her car and snapped a picture of the man in this vulnerable state. Then she posted the image to Facebook.
“I pulled around to wait for my order and he was there and he broke down crying,” Hurst told KMBC.
Instead of ignoring him, she approached the man and introduced herself. She learned that his name was Pops and he was 57 years old.
“I saw him crying, he broke down and I didn’t know who this person was,” Hurst told FOX 43. “I had seen him through the community. He used to have a bike with a cart.”
Everyone else ignored him. The display of raw emotion was too much for the people of Independence. But Hurst revealed that her heart was a few sizes too big. And she was happy to offer Pops a hand during his time of need.
Pops suffers from constant, chronic pain. And as he was crying in Burger King, he was praying for an angel of God to just “take him home.”
Life for Pops was becoming unbearable. And he didn’t see any purpose of the struggle. At least until God answered his prayer in the form of Hurst.
“I told him there’s a place at the table he set for me, I’m hungry, I’m ready to eat…if there’s room prepared for me, I’d like to come home. I was lonely, I was sad, I kept having one bad time after the next,” he told FOX 43.
Hurst assured Pops that he wasn’t going “home” – at least in the way he had meant. She invited him back home with her.
After she opened her home to him, she learned that he had been beaten and robbed multiple times. He felt forsaken and unloved.
“He said, ‘I have a broken collarbone, I have broken ribs, I’ve been beaten up,’” Hurst told FOX 43. “He needed somebody to step in and help him. That’s what I did.”
Horrified that Pops was in so much pain, Hurst turned to social media to raise money for him.
“Pops needs our help to show him that this world is still full of good people!” the YouCaring donation page reads.
So far people across the country have donated more than $8,000 to help Pops start again. And every cent makes a huge difference for him.