The former homeless man in Georgia who went viral after he was pictured sleeping in a McDonald’s during his break met the woman who posted the original photo to her Facebook.
Last week, a photo showing Simon Childs sleeping in a McDonald’s was taken and shared by Luann Cofield.
“Just another reason for me to leave Fayetteville. 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,’” Cofield originally wrote.
After the post went viral, people in the Fayette County community criticized Cofield for “shaming” Childs and began taking donations for the 21-year-old father. Childs later revealed his mother had recently passed away and he was resting between shifts at the McDonald’s.
In a matter of days, people had donated diapers, baby supplies and clothes to Childs for his 1-year-old son. People even donated hotel rooms, and a local restaurateur loaned Childs a car.
“They changed my life in a couple of days,” Childs told WSB 2.
Then on June 28, Cofield and Childs met for the first time.
Before the two met face to face, Cofield appeared extremely emotional.
“What makes you the most emotional about all this?” WSB-TV reporter Matt Johnson asked Cofield.
“I didn’t want to hurt him,” Cofield told the local news station.
Outside the same McDonald’s where the photo was taken, Cofield and Childs embraced in a hug.
“I’m sorry, you know? Because you know that horrified me. That breaks my heart for you,” Cofield told Childs.
However, Childs said he was never angry and even thanked Cofield.
“I do want to thank you,” Childs told Cofield. “Not for the post per se, but for helping me pick my life up off the ground.”
After they met, Cofield was asked if she would ever make a similar post again.
“Absolutely not. And I would handle it differently. Maybe talk to somebody, talk to them and see what the situation is,” Cofield told WSB-TV.
However, Childs said his old situation isn't uncommon, and compassion shouldn't be either.
“I actually want to use everything I’m getting from this and help other homeless people,” Childs said.
Childs is temporarily staying with someone who offered him a room and reportedly starts a new job next week.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Childs. CLICK HERE to donate.