FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (CBS Local) — What appeared to be a case of social media shaming turned out to be blessing for a Georgia man last week.
A woman took a picture of a man sleeping in a McDonald’s restaurant in Fayetteville Friday morning and shared it with a private group on Facebook.
“Just another reason for me to leave Fayetteville,” the woman wrote in the post. “I was in the McDonald’s in the middle of town and I saw this guy sleeping in the booth, I go and tell an employee that someone is asleep in their booth and her response was ‘oh yeah we know hee hee, it’s ok’ and I said ‘not really but whatever.'”
It turns out the man was Simon Childs, 21, a homeless father who was resting between his shifts at the fast-food restaurant. Childs recently lost his mother and is raising a young son.
“I’ve been going through a hard time with my mom passing,” he said.
When he heard about the photo posted on Facebook, he said he was hurt.
“I thought it was something negative and nobody would care about it,” Childs told WSB.
But some local residents who saw the woman’s post eventually learned Childs’ story and decided to help. He was greeted at work with piles of donated diapers, supplies and clothes for his son. Members of the community also donated hotel rooms and even loaned him a car to use for job interviews.
“I didn’t think the community would even care enough to do that, but they care,” he said. “They changed my life in a couple of days.”
Childs said he has received job offers and is excited about the possibility of getting a permanent home for him and his son.
“Everything I do, I want to work for it,” he said.
The woman who made the Facebook post told WSB off camera that she never intended to shame any one person in particular when she published the post to a private group. Childs said he holds no ill will towards her.
“I’m not homeless, not now, thanks to her,” he said.