The sad story of two homeless I once met (practical spirituality)


#1

As I said before, I was living in a small village in the South of France, 3,200 inhabitants.
Occasionally some homeless people arrived there and, since neither the local Caritas charity shop nor the local Catholics would help them I thought it was my duty to give them a hand.
I am not boasting about it.
I only hope what little good I have been able to do in my life will compensate my many sins.
Anyway, one day a young German couple arrives.
They had been living in Spain and even had been able to get a house there but one day they had the misfortune of giving shelter to a Spanish man.
This Spanish man eventually managed to make a deal with the owner of the house and I think propose to pay some rent, so the owner expelled the young German couple in order to give the house to the Spanish man.
That’s how the German couple arrived in France, in my village.
My village had no proper accomodation for poor people.
The only shelter they could get was a little room (very rugged) that used to be the changing room for amateur soccer players playing in the village field, a room that laid abandoned. They had no toilet.
I used to visit them often and get them what they needed.
A few times they came to my home to eat and take a shower.
They used to beg outside the village supermarket in order to have something to eat and I offered to buy them a little camping stove and a frying pan, which they accepted.
They looked for a job but nobody wanted them
They had two dogs, small ones but one of them eventually grew up rather big.
They stayed in my village a couple of months, maybe more, I cannot remember well but eventually they left because nobody else wanted to help them.

For some time I didn’t know anything about them but then one day I see the young man again in my village, alone.
He couldn’t speak French and spoke only confusedly a little Spanish.
They had been given two very cheap second-hand bicycles that a young woman I knew (who worked in the local Catholic charity shop) had bought them with the shop money without the shop’s lady-boss’s consent, thing for which she was dismissed from the shop.
The shop lady-boss was the wife of the local dean.
The young man then came back alone to the village saying that his girl-friend had abandoned him one day.
He had gone outside to beg and when he came back the young woman had disappeared.

Initially the young man slept in an abandoned house but then the locals poisoned his dog, so he moved away.
In the meantime, the local supermarket had moved to the other side of town so the young man, in order to be near the supermarket, used to sleep under his tent (he slept there all winter) .
He still had his bicycle but the rear wheel was wobbling so I offered him to have it repaired by the bicycle shop in the nearby town at my cost.
So we repaired the bicycle and he was all happy but one night the locals stole his bicycle so he was so down that he left the village to go back to Spain and I didn’t see him anymore.


#2

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