Fourteen days ago, a homeless man named Charlie Hennessy joined Twitter and sent out an honest message about his situation. This simple tweet from the streets of London summed up one of the biggest problems of the modern world today. It has also sparked an important conversation about how we treat the situation of the homeless.
This tweet went viral over the next few days and people from everywhere sent support and encouragement to Charlie in different ways. Along with kind words and well wishes, people sent him small amounts of money, which made a huge difference to him. His candid tweets about the state of affairs he was in provided a fresh perspective on a omnipresent problem that people witness each day. He was even sent job offers and was able to secure one of them (as a cab driver). After receiving a 1000 pounds, he asked people to stop sending him money and direct it instead to Streets Kitchen (an organisation that supports the homeless) or their local homeless charity.
Charlie’s bio illustrates the determination of many capable people who need some basic help to get their life back together. He constantly retweets posts by Streets Kitchen, who need small donations of money, food, sleeping bags, or even laptops that can be used for CVs and job applications by the homeless. His own disbelief at his virality and the power of Twitter take a back seat as he calls out to everyone on the internet to reach out and be kind.
With more than 30,000 thousand followers now, Charlie has become a symbol for a new way we can address the problem of the homeless. With a little bit of technology and small acts of kindness by thousands of strangers, the internet can change a person’s life in a very big way.
To read more about this story and the unconventional opportunity that social media presents, click here.