The story of Pavlos, the homeless man who found a home after a stranger posted his picture on Facebook has become viral, painting a vivid picture of the bleak, crisis-stricken Athenian canvas.
Pavlos is one of the many who had nothing to fall back on when the continuing recession robbed people of their jobs, their homes, their dignity and hope.
Pavlos did his best to maintain his dignity — he was well kept and his clothes were clean. The only thing that made him stand out to customers who would go in and out of the super market he would stand in front of, was the sign “Homeless Need Help.”
Pavlos’ luck changed when he caught the attention of passerby Stefanos, who stopped to asked what he could buy him to eat. “A cheese pie, please,” Pavlos answered. The two men struck up conversation and Pavlos told Stefanos that he had no family and that he used to work in an office and then in construction before losing his job and ending up on the street.
Stefanos empathized with Pavlos; becoming homeless is something that could happen to many people given the fragile picture of today’s Greece. The least he could do was post Pavlos’ picture on Facebook, asking others to contact him if they could help the homeless man. The response was immediate as more than 100 people he didn’t know responded that they were able to help.
Costas, a 64-year-old retiree who lives in Lagonissi, saw Stefanos’ post and contacted him. Soon, Costas met with Pavlos at the airport and invited him to stay at his house as long as he wanted.
After finding a home, Pavlos began receiving job offers from Facebook members who found out about his story and shortly after he started meeting with prospective employers.
Pavlos’ story has motivated other people to use social media to extend a helping hand to other homeless people across Greece.