New Hampshire student Casey Fischer went to get her coffee at a Dunkin’ Donuts, and she couldn’t help but notice a man sitting on the side of a road near the store.
In a now-viral Facebook post, she realized the man was picking things off the ground, and when she got closer, Fischer realized he was picking up change.
After she entered the coffee shop, the man came in and counted his coins, but he didn’t say anything. Fischer then said she bought him a coffee and a bagel before having a conversation with him.
She wrote: “He told me a lot about how people are usually very mean to him because he’s homeless, how drugs turned him into the person he hated, he lost his mom to cancer, he never knew his dad and he just wants to be someone his mom would be proud of (along with another hours worth of conversation.)”
Fischer said the man goes by the name Chris, and she caught him on the day he was planning to kill himself.
“This lovely mans name was Chris and Chris was one of the most honest & sincere people I’ve ever met. After realizing I really need to get back to class Chris asked me to wait so he can write something down for me. Handing me a crumpled up receipt he apologizes for having shaky hand writing, smiled, and left,” she wrote.
The receipt contained a message for her.
“I opened his note and this was it. ‘I wanted to kill myself today because of u I now do not. Thank u, beautiful person,'” it said.
After posting the message, it was shared by Facebook page “Love What Matters,” generating 160,000 shares on the social media website.
It’s been known for quite some time that depression is common among homeless people.
“As mental health experts learn more about mood disorders, it is becoming clear that depression and manic-depression, with its wild mood swings, are a significant cause of homelessness,” reads a New York Times article from 1999. “Homeless shelters have long been filled with schizophrenics, people whose hallucinations and delusions force them out of jobs and homes and relationships. But the link between depression and homelessness is only now becoming clear.”
Meanwhile, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says homeless people have a greater chance of suffering depression than the rest of the population.