There’s a fair amount of debate surrounding whether it’s prudent to directly give money to the homeless. While some believe it’s a noble and worthwhile act, others worry that the funds will end up going toward vices like cigarettes or alcohol rather than much-needed sustenance.
With this dichotomy in mind, YouTube star Josh Paler Lin — known for his viral video pranks — recently approached a homeless man in California, gave him $100 and decided to secretly follow him to see how he’d use the money.
But what Lin observed left him in absolute awe.
After doling out the cash, he saw the man, named Thomas, walking into a liquor store and emerging with a black bag. While Lin at first assumed that he purchased alcohol, he kept following him and was surprised to later see him in a local park handing out food to others in need — food he had purchased at the liquor store with the money Lin gave him.
Expressing his surprise, Lin approached Thomas in the park and told him that he had been following him.
“I feel I owe you an apology,” Lin said.
Thomas responded by rhetorically asking if the video star assumed he would be “going to get all smacked up drunk” and said that he simply wanted to use the money to help others, like him, who are poor and in need.
“There’s things money can’t buy,” Thomas explained. “I get a happiness out of what I’m doing.”
He went on to explain that he had been living with his parents before they both abruptly died, leaving him homeless. Lin was so inspired that he gave the man another $100, took him to dinner and paid for him to stay in a hotel.
Watch the clip below:
It’s possible, of course, that Lin orchestrated the entire scenario, but he claimed in the video’s official description that it was all organic. And he even launched a $10,000 Indiegogo campaign to help Thomas get a fresh start in life.
“I’m so glad that I could witness and capture such a beautiful moment. This has to be one of the most amazing experience so far on this channel,” he said. “I did not only just help a homeless man, but I actually met an incredible human being and a friend..”