A homeless man on the Downtown Eastside has restored our faith in humanity once again.
YouTube channel Ace Journey recently conducted the “Lost Wallet Experiment” where they placed 14 wallets on city streets to see whether most people would pocket the money or return the wallet, but what began as a social experiment quickly turned into a touching profile of a local homeless man.
After placing each wallet, Harry Chahal, the man behind the experiment, sat in his car and waited to see what would happen, camera ready.
While a good proportion of people opened the wallet and pocketed its contents, some used the obviously placed contact card inside to call Harry and tell him they found his wallet. Out of 14 wallets dropped, nine were returned.
When asked why they didn’t just keep the wallet and go on their way, most people mentioned that it was the right thing to do and that they’d hope someone would do the same for them.
After Harry and his team placed a wallet on the Downtown Eastside, they quickly received a call from a payphone from an older man with a cardboard sign in his hand.
Taken with the man’s honesty, Harry invited him into his car to get out of the rain for a while. Well spoken, kind, and gentle, he seemed willing to open up to Harry about his situation.
The man, age 64 and a former lumber mill worker, ended up on the streets after going bankrupt. He survives by pan handling and spending nights in various shelters.
When Harry asked if he’d like a steak dinner, the man insisted all he wanted was a hot chocolate.
“I learned how diverse the people in this city are, not only culturally but in their personalities. It’s easy to make assumptions about people when we look at them, but if we take a few minutes to speak to them our perception can completely change,” Harry said when asked what his biggest take-away from the project was.
To fully see the magic in this interaction, you have to watch the video below.