web analytics

Selflessness, Compassion, Enduring Faith, And Humanity: Why A Man Name John Reilly Encompasses What It Means To Be A Champion Of The People

During a very slow day on the job this past summer, I was seated at the surveillance camera controllers where I’m employed as a store detective, when my eye catches a glance of a man who was carrying a large backpack, and appeared to be walking in a hurried fashion (classic trait of a grab in run shoplifter). “Yeah, I think I’ll watch him for a minute,” I thought to myself. A short time later my instincts appeared to be spot on, while the man began looking around in a suspicious manner, as if he was hoping no one was watching him, when he began to remove a large Bluetooth speaker from its packaging, and started walking slowly toward the exit of our department store.

I watched him walk closer and closer to the exit in complete disbelief, baffled by how nonchalantly he walks in, picks up an item of merchandise, and appears to be ready to exit the store without attempting to pay for the item. I found it to be pretty brazen, but it’s simply common place in some cultures where people steal “in open sight,” as I have come to describe this kind of theft. I dash to the exit and position myself to stop him. I make the approach as he exits the store with the speaker in plain sight, identify myself as a store detective,  and before I had the opportunity to address the obvious (stolen merchandise), he confesses to stealing the item, becomes extremely apologetic, cooperative, and pleads for me not to have him arrested.

Knowing that the merchandise was of a monetary value that wouldn’t require me to prosecute him, I began to insure him that I wasn’t going to have him taken to jail as I escorted him to the office, placed him in the holding cell area, and explained that I would get him out of my custody as soon as possible. So, as I’m processing him and gathering his information, he begins to explain to me that he has never been in trouble with the law. I simply acknowledge him to let him know that I was listening (after all, of the hundreds of people I’ve apprehended for theft the past few years, it seems as if they all had a story to tell regarding why they were in such a predicament), and he said he had just hit a rough patch in life. He explained that he had only stolen the item so he could sell it to purchase something to eat (moved by his comment, I began listening more intently).

He went on to say that he had been self employed for over 25 years, but experienced a fire at his Fairfield Connecticut home a few years back, lost everything to the fire, lost his business, and became homeless. So, he started living on the streets trying to survive the best way he could, and doing simply what he had to do to eat. It was a moving story, but the nature of my line of work requires me to desensitize myself, and process every case per company policy. I do recall however, that the day he was released from our office, I was glad that I didn’t have to compound his personal struggles any further by having him prosecuted for theft.

Meanwhile, a young colleague and fellow detective (John Reilly) would encounter a man standing just outside of the mall entrance on his way to work every day. The man (who I’ll only identify as JP) was homeless and would often ask John and others for spare change to help him get something to eat. John gave this middle age African American man (whose name was also John) a few dollars on several occasions. One day out of curiosity John asked him, what was his situation and why he doesn’t have a job? JP told John the same story he gave me about the house fire, losing his business, and his plight of being homeless. Having the capacity to empathize with his situation, John decided that he wanted to do more for JP besides just give him a few bucks here and there, because he appeared healthy, intelligent, and capable of maintaining a job.

John suggested that JP simply go online and look for a job. John told him there are all kinds of jobs online that he could apply for. JP told John that he only had a GED, a little college studying Theology, and didn’t have access to the internet, and even if he did, he wouldn’t know how to use it to apply for a job. That’s when the real humanity of this story began. John started gathering personal information from JP until he had a enough to compose an actual resume for him. John would apply for various jobs on Indeed.com and other employment websites for JP in an effort to help him overcome his homelessness and personal troubles.

John continued to apply for jobs for JP and continued to communicate with him on a regular basis to check on him, to see if he was okay, and to help him stay encouraged that a change would eventually come. John would also learn that the man was married, and naturally due to his circumstances, their relationship was on the rocks. This made John even more determined to help the man succeed and rekindle his relationship with his wife. It was all a waiting game now, and John (who is a God Fearing man himself) believed that God would deliver JP at any moment.

One day on the job while John was cleaning up and purging photographs that are taken of shoplifters, he comes across the image that I took of JP back during the summer when I apprehended him for shoplifting. John search the record database in the office, and discovered that I was the detective who apprehended JP, but he never let me or any one on our staff know how he had been helping JP. John did eventually advise JP what he does for a living and where he works. JP simply replied “oh okay.” and didn’t say anything about his shoplifting incident, so John just let it go, and continued to support JP’s efforts to get back on his feet.

On December 19, 2018 just before Christmas all of the efforts that John Reilly had put into helping JP find a job, finally came to fruition. One of the jobs that John had applied for (Maintenance Technician) responded to his application. It would eventually resolve into a direct letter from the CEO with a job offer, maintaining housing apartments, and preparing apartments for occupancy when tenants move out. The job came with an on sight apartment (immediately resolving JP’s homeless situation), 401K, medical, dental, vacation time, keys to the building, personal cellphone, company uniforms, and more. JP moved in and started on January 2, 2019.

The apartment complex where JP will now live and work has a Maintenance Technician.

So, when I received a text message from John Reilly early yesterday morning, with him inquiring whether I remembered this man? I was puzzled because the text didn’t have an image attached, but John sent the picture of JP along with a text that read. “This is that homeless guy that you apprehended,” and I instantly remembered him and the unfortunate circumstance of our encounter. John advised me that he had helped JP get a job and that he was no longer homeless. Knowing how excited John gets about the smallest thing, all I could do was just imagine his facial expressions at that very moment.

On my way into work yesterday morning I couldn’t help but think how many times we as a society have walked pass a homeless person, and simply discarded them as a nuisance without offering the smallest assistance. I believe I only know one man who has actually taken time out of his life to write resumes, cover letters, and apply to various jobs online for a homeless man that he didn’t even know. That man name is John Reilly. “John the beneficent” from this day forth.

JP’s story is a classic American tale of personal triumph in the face of darkness, despair, and homelessness. That all changed when he met a young white guy with a degree of wisdom, compassion, and humanity greater than his years on this earth. Despite the negativity of our current political climate in this country, that has been creating divisiveness among race and class, it speaks volumes when these kinds of stories emerge, and reveal the true spirit of what humanity actually looks and feel like. God Bless John Reilly, God Bless JP, and may God Bless us all. John Reilly is a real “People’s Champion,” and I tip my hat to him.

 

“The Only Thing Necessary For Evil To Prevail, Is For God Men To Stand By Idle And Do Nothing.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

I’m Crime Writer David B. Adams

The People’s Champion

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

During a very slow day on the job this past summer, I was seated at the surveillance camera controllers where I’m employed as a store detective, when my eye catches a glance of a man who was carrying a large backpack, and appeared to be walking in a hurried fashion (classic trait of a grab in run shoplifter). “Yeah, I think I’ll watch him for a minute,” I thought to myself. A short time later my instincts appeared to be spot on, while the man began looking around in a suspicious manner, as if he was hoping no one was watching him, when he began to remove a large Bluetooth speaker from its packaging, and started walking slowly toward the exit of our department store.

I watched him walk closer and closer to the exit in complete disbelief, baffled by how nonchalantly he walks in, picks up an item of merchandise, and appears to be ready to exit the store without attempting to pay for the item. I found it to be pretty brazen, but it’s simply common place in some cultures where people steal “in open sight,” as I have come to describe this kind of theft. I dash to the exit and position myself to stop him. I make the approach as he exits the store with the speaker in plain sight, identify myself as a store detective,  and before I had the opportunity to address the obvious (stolen merchandise), he confesses to stealing the item, becomes extremely apologetic, cooperative, and pleads for me not to have him arrested.

Knowing that the merchandise was of a monetary value that wouldn’t require me to prosecute him, I began to insure him that I wasn’t going to have him taken to jail as I escorted him to the office, placed him in the holding cell area, and explained that I would get him out of my custody as soon as possible. So, as I’m processing him and gathering his information, he begins to explain to me that he has never been in trouble with the law. I simply acknowledge him to let him know that I was listening (after all, of the hundreds of people I’ve apprehended for theft the past few years, it seems as if they all had a story to tell regarding why they were in such a predicament), and he said he had just hit a rough patch in life. He explained that he had only stolen the item so he could sell it to purchase something to eat (moved by his comment, I began listening more intently).

He went on to say that he had been self employed for over 25 years, but experienced a fire at his Fairfield Connecticut home a few years back, lost everything to the fire, lost his business, and became homeless. So, he started living on the streets trying to survive the best way he could, and doing simply what he had to do to eat. It was a moving story, but the nature of my line of work requires me to desensitize myself, and process every case per company policy. I do recall however, that the day he was released from our office, I was glad that I didn’t have to compound his personal struggles any further by having him prosecuted for theft.

Meanwhile, a young colleague and fellow detective (John Reilly) would encounter a man standing just outside of the mall entrance on his way to work every day. The man (who I’ll only identify as JP) was homeless and would often ask John and others for spare change to help him get something to eat. John gave this middle age African American man (whose name was also John) a few dollars on several occasions. One day out of curiosity John asked him, what was his situation and why he doesn’t have a job? JP told John the same story he gave me about the house fire, losing his business, and his plight of being homeless. Having the capacity to empathize with his situation, John decided that he wanted to do more for JP besides just give him a few bucks here and there, because he appeared healthy, intelligent, and capable of maintaining a job.

John suggested that JP simply go online and look for a job. John told him there are all kinds of jobs online that he could apply for. JP told John that he only had a GED, a little college studying Theology, and didn’t have access to the internet, and even if he did, he wouldn’t know how to use it to apply for a job. That’s when the real humanity of this story began. John started gathering personal information from JP until he had a enough to compose an actual resume for him. John would apply for various jobs on Indeed.com and other employment websites for JP in an effort to help him overcome his homelessness and personal troubles.

John continued to apply for jobs for JP and continued to communicate with him on a regular basis to check on him, to see if he was okay, and to help him stay encouraged that a change would eventually come. John would also learn that the man was married, and naturally due to his circumstances, their relationship was on the rocks. This made John even more determined to help the man succeed and rekindle his relationship with his wife. It was all a waiting game now, and John (who is a God Fearing man himself) believed that God would deliver JP at any moment.

One day on the job while John was cleaning up and purging photographs that are taken of shoplifters, he comes across the image that I took of JP back during the summer when I apprehended him for shoplifting. John search the record database in the office, and discovered that I was the detective who apprehended JP, but he never let me or any one on our staff know how he had been helping JP. John did eventually advise JP what he does for a living and where he works. JP simply replied “oh okay.” and didn’t say anything about his shoplifting incident, so John just let it go, and continued to support JP’s efforts to get back on his feet.

On December 19, 2018 just before Christmas all of the efforts that John Reilly had put into helping JP find a job, finally came to fruition. One of the jobs that John had applied for (Maintenance Technician) responded to his application. It would eventually resolve into a direct letter from the CEO with a job offer, maintaining housing apartments, and preparing apartments for occupancy when tenants move out. The job came with an on sight apartment (immediately resolving JP’s homeless situation), 401K, medical, dental, vacation time, keys to the building, personal cellphone, company uniforms, and more. JP moved in and started on January 2, 2019.

The apartment complex where JP will now live and work has a Maintenance Technician.

So, when I received a text message from John Reilly early yesterday morning, with him inquiring whether I remembered this man? I was puzzled because the text didn’t have an image attached, but John sent the picture of JP along with a text that read. “This is that homeless guy that you apprehended,” and I instantly remembered him and the unfortunate circumstance of our encounter. John advised me that he had helped JP get a job and that he was no longer homeless. Knowing how excited John gets about the smallest thing, all I could do was just imagine his facial expressions at that very moment.

On my way into work yesterday morning I couldn’t help but think how many times we as a society have walked pass a homeless person, and simply discarded them as a nuisance without offering the smallest assistance. I believe I only know one man who has actually taken time out of his life to write resumes, cover letters, and apply to various jobs online for a homeless man that he didn’t even know. That man name is John Reilly. “John the beneficent” from this day forth.

JP’s story is a classic American tale of personal triumph in the face of darkness, despair, and homelessness. That all changed when he met a young white guy with a degree of wisdom, compassion, and humanity greater than his years on this earth. Despite the negativity of our current political climate in this country, that has been creating divisiveness among race and class, it speaks volumes when these kinds of stories emerge, and reveal the true spirit of what humanity actually looks and feel like. God Bless John Reilly, God Bless JP, and may God Bless us all. John Reilly is a real “People’s Champion,” and I tip my hat to him.

 

“The Only Thing Necessary For Evil To Prevail, Is For God Men To Stand By Idle And Do Nothing.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

I’m Crime Writer David B. Adams

The People’s Champion

 

David Adams

Self proclaimed geek, Advocate for the homeless, Social Change, Crime Blogger, and mobile technology enthusiast. A recognized Journalist and Human Interest Writer championing the plight of the masses whom are without a voice of their own.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle Plus

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Selflessness, Compassion, Enduring Faith, And Humanity: Why A Man Name John Reilly Encompasses What It Means To Be A Champion Of The People”

Leave a Reply

- See more at: http://thepeopleschampion.me/wp-admin/options-general.php?page=side-tab#sthash.HEuco14y.dpuf