The woman who uploaded a degrading photo of a homeless McDonald’s worker sleeping in one of the restaurant’s booths is apologizing for her deed saying, ‘I didn’t want to hurt him.’
Luann Cofield snapped a photo of Simon Childs, 21, earlier this week as he was resting in a Fayette County at McDonald’s in between shifts and shared it on Facebook, ranting that the homeless population was ‘just another reason for me to leave Fayetteville.’
While her post was scathing, it ended up changing Childs’ life.
Childs was going through a hard time with the photograph was taken as his mother recently passed away and he was working to provide for his four-month-old baby.
‘I’ve been going through a hard time with my mom passing,’ he said to WSB-TV in an interview last week.
Following the viral photo, the local Georgia community rallied behind him and donated a new wardrobe, a free haircut, and helped him land a job at a construction site.
A local restaurateur even loaned Childs an SUV for him to get around in.
‘I’m no longer sleeping at McDonald’s so that’s good…I feel great,’ Childs said to WSBTV.
The two met on Friday outside the McDonald’s where the original photo was taken and hugged, putting all the bad blood behind them.
‘I’m sorry, you know? Because you know that horrified me. That breaks my heart for you,’ she told Childs.
When asked if she would ever do something like that again, Cofield said,’ Absolutely not. And I would handle it differently. Maybe talk to somebody, talk to them and see what the situation.’
Her Facebook post sparked public outrage and she subsequently deleted her account.
But she inadvertently raised awareness about Childs and his struggles, and opened the door for community members to lend a helping hand.
Childs assured her he wasn’t ever angry with her and is now thankful for her.
‘I do want to thank you. Not for the post per se, but for helping me pick my life up off the ground,’ Childs said to Cofield.
Now Childs wants to help other homeless people with the resources he’s received from kind neighbors.
‘I actually want to use everything I’m getting from this and help other homeless people,’ he said.
Good Samaritans started a GoFundMe page for him to raise money to get a place for his family. As of Monday it had surpassed its goal of $5,000 reaching $9,752.
In her original Facebook post, Cofield wrote: ‘Just another reason for me to leave Fayetteville.’
‘I was in the McDonald’s in the middle of town and I saw this guy sleeping in the booth, I go tell an employee that someone is asleep in their booth and her response was “Oh yeah, we know, hee hee, it’s ok”, and I said, “Not really, but whatever.”‘