The woman who took a picture of a man sleeping in a Fayetteville, Georgia, McDonald's and posted a negative Facebook rant about him has now met the man to apologize.
The homeless father had been resting between his shifts at the fast-food restaurant when Luann Cofield snapped the photo. She ended up catching flak for the photo after posting it online.
A woman took a picture of a man asleep at a McDonalds and complained on Facebook, and how the community responded changed his life forever.— Matt Johnson (@MattWSB) June 24, 2019
"I'm not homeless, not now, thanks to her."
@ 11 #Nightbeat pic.twitter.com/OFQ6iYRu5r
On Friday, she met Childs to apologize. That picture ended up changing his life.
“I’m no longer sleeping in a McDonald’s, so that's good,” Childs told WSB. “I feel great.”
He now has an SUV, a new wardrobe and a new job thanks to donations from the Fayetteville community.
One of his supporters now was once his loudest critic.
The last time we saw Simon Childs, it was a couple of days after someone made a disparaging Facebook post about the then-homeless father sleeping in the @McDonalds where he worked. pic.twitter.com/7CQiHMY7Ru— Matt Johnson (@MattWSB) June 28, 2019
“I didn’t want to hurt him,” Cofield said.
The two hugged as they met outside the McDonald’s where the photo was taken.
“I’m sorry, you know? Because, you know, that horrified me. That breaks my heart for you,” Cofield told Childs.
Cofield said the online backlash forced her to delete her Facebook account.
But Childs said he has never been angry, only thankful.
“I do want to thank you,” Child told Cofield. “Not for the post per se, but for helping me pick my life up off the ground.”
The two people once on opposite sides of a camera lens turned the focus on getting to know each other for the first time.
When asked if she thinks she would do something like this again, Cofield said: "absolutely not."
“I would handle it differently. Maybe talk to somebody, talk to them and see what the situation is,” Cofield said.
Childs said his old situation isn't uncommon and compassion shouldn't be, either.
“I actually want to use everything I’m getting from this and help other homeless people,” Childs said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Childs. More than $9,000 has been raised.
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