Eric Gaines, a police officer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, was waiting for a bus when he spotted a teen standing near a sleeping homeless man. Many people had passed the homeless man, who, Gaines said, is familiar to the area.
But the teenager “walked over to him and just knelt down and put his hands down on his foot” and prayed, Gaines says.
Gaines snapped a photo of the young man praying over the sleeping homeless man and posted it to Facebook. The photo has gone viral, having been shared over 32,000 times, the Sun reports.
“I thought it was an amazing sight. I had to take a picture of it. It was extremely powerful,” Gaines said.
Gaines doesn’t know who the teen is but noted that some friends who were walking with the young man held the bus for him, and once he finished praying, he hopped on the bus and was gone.
“He didn’t do it for any accolades or any praise. ... I didn’t get a chance to say anything. I wanted to say something to him,” Gaines told the Sun. “But it was just as if he did what he had to do and left.”
Gaines called the image and the act a powerful spiritual moment that he was proud to have witnessed.
“It was good to see a young black man, especially in this community, doing something positive,” Gaines said. “That’s why I took the picture. It was powerful on so many levels, and for it to be in my presence—it was crazy.”
The officer was sitting in the driver's seat of his car in a parking lot Saturday when 22-year-old Brandon A. Williams opened the passenger door and demanded money.
Police say the officer identified himself and drew his weapon, prompting Williams to flee before being caught.
Williams has been charged with attempted robbery, assault, evading arrest and resisting and possession of drug paraphernalia. It is unclear whether he has an attorney.
Samuel Van De Cruze, who recently opened Mr. Bubbles in Queens, New York, spent 60 hours washing, drying and folding clothes for homeless families pressed for time.
By his own estimate, Van De Cruze, a former social worker, did roughly 5,000 pounds of laundry after hours between March 28 and 31 for 75 shelter residents living in The Landing — a nearby family homeless shelter, run by the nonprofit CAMBA, which provides services to people in need.
He even picked up and dropped off the loads.
He said the act was “in the spirit of Easter” and this is the first time he has done something like it.
“As a Christian, I’ve been taught to do good works,” Van De Cruze told The Huffington Post. “During my devotions one morning, the thought came to me to do this.”
According to apress release by CAMBA, Van De Cruze’s idea was inspired by the challenges he saw his homeless patrons face on a regular basis. They have to walk long distances with heavy loads and young children, and the cost of doing laundry is a burden on these families. As a former social worker, he immediately recognized these challenges and wanted to offer practical help.
“Normally I spend almost $30 on laundry weekly, which has to come from my PA income,” Catina B., a resident of The Landing, said in a statement, provided to HuffPost. “And doing laundry with a 3-year-old is always difficult for both of us. This (donation from Mr. Bubble’s) means that this week both she and I won’t have to go through that — and I will be able to save this $30 for something else.”
And sometimes that something else, isn’t a luxury, it’s a basic necessity.
“We had to save as much money as we could for food, travel, diapers and other necessities,” Amber, another resident of The Landing, said in a statement. “I was washing our clothes in the bathtub to save laundry money.”
Amber, her husband and their son had to move into The Landing after her father died and his house, where the family was living, was sold.
“I am so grateful for the burden that this lifted — you feel like you are a little bit more of a ‘somebody’ when you are wearing clean clothes,” she said.