When New Hampshire college student Casey Fischer went to get her morning coffee at Dunkin Donuts, she couldn’t help but notice a man sitting on the side of a nearby road.
Fischer explains on Facebook that she realized the man was picking up things off the ground, it nearly broke her heart: He was collecting change.
When he entered the coffee shop, she approached him as he counted his coins, but he didn’t say much. In an effort to get to know more about this man, Fischer bought him a coffee, a bagel and had a lengthy conversation about his life:
“He told me a lot about how people are usually very mean to him because he’s homeless, how drugs turned him into the person he hated, he lost his mom to cancer, he never knew his dad and he just wants to be someone his mom would be proud of (along with another hours worth of conversation.)”
Fischer says the homeless man goes by Chris, and she caught him on a day that he originally planned for something completely heartbreaking:
today I went to Dunkin and saw a clearly homeless guy singing on the side of the road and picking up change. Eventually…
As he left, he handed her a crumpled up note that said:
“I wanted to kill myself today because of u I now do not. Thank u, beautiful person.”
Since posting her story on social media, it’s since been shared by popular Facebook page “Love What Matters.” Collectively, the two posts have been shared by over 160,000 people.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, those who are homeless have a greater chance of suffering from depression than the general population.
A 2008 study found those who have experienced homelessness at an earlier age, as well as people who have been homeless longer than 6 months, have higher rates of suicidal thoughts and suicide.