Who’ll part with a dollar to help out a cleanly dressed guy, who claims he left his wallet at home, get home? This was what two friends hoped to find out through a social experiment they conducted in New York City in early 2017. It’s surprising to see who ended up helping.
Kawsar and Habib are the protagonists in this social experiment, which they filmed and uploaded to YouTube.
Kawsar takes to the streets first and tries to obtain a dollar from a number of strangers … but it’s obviously not working out for him. It looks to be quite a tiring task too.
He tells strangers that he is short of a dollar for a MetroCard, but people simply refuse by saying things like “I have no money sorry,” or “Why don’t you work?”
He continues begging, but nobody seems willing to help.
Finally, after several attempts, a kind stranger stops. He pulls out his earphones and listens to what Kawsar has to say. It doesn’t take him much contemplation to pull out a dollar bill from his pocket to give to Kawsar.
With a smile, Kawsar quickly hands the money back and points to the camera to the side.
“We’re shooting a video,” he tells the man, clarifying it’s just a social experiment. After thanking the stranger for his kindness, it was time for Habib to get into his act.
Instead of targeting regular passersby, Habib approaches a homeless man sitting to the side, who is holding a cardboard sign. He tells the man that he left his wallet at home and that he’s short of money. Cashless, he is unable to return home.
“Boss I been here all day,” says the homeless man, who we later learn is named Alfonzo. “Made like a dollar all day. Nobody wants to give nothing.”
Acting a little anxious that he has no idea how he’ll get home, he tells Alfonzo how nobody is willing to give a dollar to him.
“I asked a lot of people if they could help,” Habib says.
“Yeah, you’re probably not used to asking,” responds Alfonzo.
Alfonzo soon proves his worth when he tells Habib to take a seat. “Why don’t you sit here and I’ll try get you a dollar,” he tells Habib.
As Habib sits on the sidewalk, Alfonzo’s tattered sign in hand, he watches on as Alfonzo attempts to approach passersby.
“This guy needs a dollar, help him out,” he announces to passing flocks of people. It seems, however, that his pleas fall on deaf ears.
Although Alfonzo wants to help Habib, he cannot get him the dollar that he claims he so needs. As the search for a person kind enough to give a dollar comes to a sad close, the two engage in conversation. Habib learns that Alfonzo has a pregnant wife. They sleep on the church steps on 43rd street.
Despite the depressing circumstances Alfonzo and his wife are in, what’s relieving is that they are not hungry, as they receive plenty of food donations.
“I got a whole bag of food that people give me that I go around giving other homeless people,” he tells Habib, before offering him some food.
Still playing the actor, Habib says he could do with a bite to eat, as he hasn’t eaten all day.
Despite money being so hard to come by for the street beggar, eventually, he pulls out 50 cents from his pocket and hands it to Habib.
This simple act bowled Habib over.
It may not be much, but Habib expresses how precious it is to him, for it was given with kindness. Alfonzo only had $1 on his person, and he just gave Habib half of his whole day’s earnings.
By this stage, Habib reveals what he’s doing. Check out the social experiment below, and see Alfonzo rewarded for his kind heart.
Watch the video below: