Facebook post changes the life of a homeless man

Mummer Yilmaz (left) with former homeless man Laurent, who he helped find a job and a home via Facebook.

A man who was living rough on the streets of Strasbourg has now found a home and a job after a stranger started a Facebook page highlighting his plight.

The page was launched by local filmmaker Muammer Yilmaz last year after spotted Laurent sleeping rough when he returned from a backpacking trip around the world in which he opted to live rough for the experience.

He was touched by the man as when he asked him what help he needed he spoke only of a charger and a pair of shoes. He posted his request on Facebook, hoping someone could help.

Surprisingly, the post was shared 4,000 times within three days. “I was amazed by how 4,000 hearts cared enough to share the message”, he said.

It prompted him to create a dedicated Facebook page - ‘0 SDF à Strasbourg’ – with the aim of helping Laurent get his life back on track. One year on, after months of help, Laurent has moved into his own apartment and is working at a restaurant.

Muammer said he had to do something to help homeless people. “One day on my travels I was desperately searching for a shelter from the cold, I saw this woman sitting there in the street”, he told Connexion. “I found it humanly impossible to survive such temperatures, one cannot physically get through it!”

His project has now expanded to help other homeless people in the city and Muammer has created a sign and logo which can be displayed on restaurant doors if the owners agree to provide food, water or coffee to a homeless person. They can opt to show the services they offer and can also add the days and times when they can receive homeless people so they can plan to avoid busy periods. On the Facebook page Muammer asks everyone to let homeless people know about the logo so they can benefit from it.

Studies show that at least 400 homeless persons died in the streets of France in 2016. “I hope that one day, we the people are able to help our brothers and sisters in the streets. One day, I hope that we will have ‘0 SDF dans le monde’”.

 Here’s a link to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/0sdf0/?fref=ts

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