A homeless man left a note on a bus stop. The teenager who found it changed his life.

Of all the horrors that people experiencing homelessness endure, being shunned by humanity is one of the most difficult to bear.

Gregory P. Smith, a man who had no home for 25 years before turning his life around and receiving his PhD, has great advice for how we should treat people experiencing homelessness.

“Maybe you cannot make a difference to that person’s circumstances, but you can make a difference to how you see them," he said. "Many are hurting with the shame and stigma of being homeless. Don’t pretend they don’t exist: they are people too.”


Charlotte Howard, a 16-year-old in England, didn’t look the other way when she saw a homeless person reaching out, and it made all the difference.

via GoFundMe

After nine years on the street, Anthony Johnson, 36, left a note on a bus stop that read:

I will do a trial for free to show how I work. I don't take drugs or drink. I will also do dog walking/minding, window cleaning, shopping, gardening, car valeting/washing, housework, cooking.. Anything to earn a living and make life seem worth living.

Johnson’s note was part of his recent commitment to turning his life around. “I didn’t want to do the things I used to do,” he told the Hastings and St. Leonards Observer. “My social circles used to be drug takers and criminals. Now it’s pastors and people doing outreach work.”

Howard found the note, posted it to Facebook, and started a GoFundMe page to help get Johnson a trailer. “There is a caravan for sale and it cost £100, the goal is £300 as it needs some work done,” she wrote.

In six days, the campaign has raised over £1,735 ($2300) for Johnson. He was able to get the trailer and a homeless charity is in the process of finding a permanent place for it. Johnson also received a job as a handyman from landscape gardener Nelson Smith.

“I have had problems with mental health in recent years and in this post I saw someone trying to help themselves,” Nelson told the Hastings and St. Leonards Observer.

Johnson's story is the perfect example of what can happen when people experience homelessness aren’t treated as if they don’t exist.

“It’s not like I haven’t previously been asking for help but all it takes is an open-minded person like Charlotte to come along and help,” Johnson said. “She saw me and recognized my position and decided she wanted to do something to help. I wouldn’t have got anywhere looking for a job if it wasn’t for her.”

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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