Four homeless people come forward with tales of bizarre meeting with anonymous man

The streets of Glasgow are no place for a woman to walk alone late at night, but for 48-year-old Heather Walker, these streets were her home for over five years. Having not worked since the recession, Heather, who has mild learning difficulties, struggled to get back on her feet after losing her job in late 2009. But all that changed after a fortuitous meeting with a kind stranger one cold November evening.
Heather had been made homeless when her unemployment benefits were harshly cut back in 2010. Her inability to read or write well made applying for jobs a difficult task, but her pleas for assistance fell on deaf ears. The employees of her local job centre sanctioned Heather, cutting off her only source of income during these desperate times. Before long, she was six months behind on her rent, and with nowhere else to go, her only option was to sleep rough.
“It seemed like a temporary thing at the time. I thought there would be somewhere I could go. I didn’t think I’d still be kipping outside all those years later.”
The cold Scottish winters caused Heather to be hospitalised on a number of occasions during her time on the streets, and as such, she was made a priority case at the local homeless shelter. This place was a refuge for Heather, a place where she knew she could be safe. Or at least, that’s what she thought. One night, Heather was brutally beaten and robbed of her medication by another guest at the shelter. She refused to go back after this incident, but looking back, this may have been the best thing that ever happened to her.
“I was sat outside one of them little Tesco’s looking for change. It’s a good spot usually. People are kind round there. But then this weirdo in a long coat came up to me and asked my name. I told him, and he asked for my surname too. Then started asking me all sorts. Where I’d been, why I was homeless, all that business.”
Heather was cautious at first, but since people rarely spoke to her she took the time to vent. She told the curious stranger how she’d been taken around the country by her father as a child, with her education suffering massively as a result. The authorities didn’t seem to care much back then, so she fell through the cracks.
This was to be a running theme throughout much of Heather’s life. When her father died, her inheritance was swindled from her by a family friend who offered to help settle his affairs. She tried to gain help from the authorities, but once more, nobody seemed interested.
Heather bounced back and managed to land herself a job at the local supermarket, which in turn helped her afford her own little flat in East Kilbride. In 2009 Heather lost her job when the supermarket closed, and despite her best efforts she failed to find alternative employment. Her condition meant she was eligible for special help via the job centre, but no help was forthcoming. Heather was destitute, sent packing by her landlord and destined to a life of cold, grim misery.
Heather told the stranger her life story, and throughout all of this he barely spoke a word, seeming more interested in letting her speak. When she’d finished, the man gave her enough money to put herself up at a cheap local bed and breakfast. For this, Heather was grateful enough. But the man wasn’t finished. He told Heather to be back in the same spot at 5pm the next day, for he had something he wanted to give her.
Once more, Heather was unsure whether or not to turn up.
“He could’ve been a weirdo or a dangeous maniac or something. How was I to know? But something in his voice told me he was kind. He listened to me, and he understood what I had been through.”
Having had a good night’s sleep for the first time in years, Heather perched up at her usual spot outside the Tesco’s and waited for the man to arrive. She had no idea of the time, so after a few hours, Heather asked an old woman who told her it was just a bit past 5:40. Heather was almost ready to pack up and go, when the kind stranger rushed around the corner in a hurry.
“I’ll never forget this for the rest of my life. He ran up to me, apologised for being late, and shoved a set of keys in my hand. I had no idea what he was doing. He could’ve been propositioning me for all I know. But hell, I can’t even explain it.”
The kind stranger told Heather he’d purchased her a small property, and that she’d never have to spend another night on the streets. The man took Heather in a taxi to her new home and told her he’d also paid her bills for the first six months. She had everything she needed to get back on her feet, and with that, he wished her well and said goodbye.
Incredibly, this is not the first time this has happened.
Various reports of this altruistic stranger have been circulating in the local press for several months now. At least three other homeless people have come forward with similar tales of generosity, with each one recalling the same long coat, the same kind smile and an identical ending to their most incredible of stories.
There was a brief campaign by the newspaper to track down this man, but he contacted reporters anonymously with a plea to leave him be. In return, he gave them an explanation of his actions as being the result of his own time on the streets, as well as a desire to give something back now he’d managed to sort himself out.
The man claimed had a great job and a significant amount of money, and that helping others gave him more pleasure than anything else he could imagine. His story was confirmed as genuine when he named the addresses of each of the four people he’d helped, and he expressed his delight that not one of them had helped the reporters to try and track him down.
Heather certainly has no intention of doing so.
“I remember his face. I’ll never forget it! He told me his first name too, and I’ve seen his other details on the bills and stuff. But I’ll take those things to the grave. If he wants to be private let him be private. After all he’s done for me and them others he deserves it.”
Twelve months on, thanks to the kindness of a stranger, Heather remains warm and comfy in her own little terraced house – worth £76,000 according to an online search. And she was able to begin paying her own bills not long after moving in, with a local bakery taking her on in a part-time role.
Heather has even invited a couple of her old homeless mates off the street to lodge with her for free while they get themselves back on track. And what’s more is that Heather even knows the area well, because, by complete coincidence, her new home is just ten minutes walk from her old flat in East Kilbride.

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