Putting your best face forward can be a harrowing task when you live on the street.
On Sept. 11, a homeless man in Detroit was trying his best to give himself a shave, using a puddle in the road to rinse his razor, when Officer Jeremy Thomas came to offer a steady hand.
Jill Metiva Schafer and her family were also there in Comerica Park, regrouping after the Detroit Tigers game had been rained out. That’s when she spotted the exchange between Thomas and the homeless man, named Stanley Nelson, and snapped a few photos.
“What a great Detroit cop,” she wrote in a Facebook post that’s now going viral. “This officer went way above and beyond to help this man shave!”
“I took the picture because I thought it was such a kind, unselfish thing for an officer to do,” Schafer, from Saginaw Township, Mich., told “Good Morning America.” She added, “With all the negativity that police officers get, I wanted to show them in a positive light.”
Nelson, 62, had just received a razor, shaving cream and a bottle of water from a local woman and her daughter. Soon after, a park employee alerted Thomas that the man had begun using a puddle of rain water to clean the blade.
“He had shaving cream on his hands, his coat, his face, his eyes,” Thomas told WXYZ Detroit. When Thomas approached Nelson, he said, “I’ll leave, I’ll leave,” but Thomas let him know he was there to help.
Nelson told the ABC affiliate, “That was beautiful what he did, and God is gonna bless him for doing that for me because he didn’t have to do that.”
“What he did for me, that was alright,” he continued. “I really appreciate that because, you know, I’m going through my thing, and I feel bad about myself, you know, but I’m gonna be alright.”
Thomas claims he had no idea anyone had seen the good deed until WXYZ showed him Schafer’s photos. He told them he did it because he “need[s] to help people.”
“Just know that this could be you at any day,” he said. “Nobody is better than the other person. They may be in a better position in life, but use that opportunity to take care of somebody else when you can.”
Perhaps it’s a trend: A similar shave occurred in Florida last year, when an officer helped a homeless man fix his broken razor outside a gas station in Tallahassee.
Police Officer Helps Homeless Man Shave
Hannah Sparks, New York Post
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