School Principal Is Moved by Life Story of Man Who Was Looking through Garbage for Food

In 2015 a school principal saw a man in need and stopped to help him. The encounter moved both men to tears, and the homeless man’s life story touched many people. 

When John Brantley saw a man digging through a trash can near Best Buy in Mobile, Alabama, he didn’t imagine that their paths would cross. The principal watched the man’s actions and was moved by his desperate desire to find leftover food. 

The sight left him heartbroken and urged him to approach the man and offer assistance. Brantley shared that he didn’t help homeless and needy people regularly. However, something about this man struck him, and he couldn’t look away. 

Homeless man digs through rubbish bin looking for leftover food [main] The principal who helped a homeless man is photographed alongside his wife [inset] | Photo:

The principal walked to his car but eventually got out and asked the man named Steve if he could assist him in any way. The man didn’t ask for money. He simply expressed that he would appreciate a warm meal and some sweet tea.  

Brantley said“I bought him the biggest meal they had on the menu.” Steve had faced homelessness for a year since his sister passed away and struggled to make ends meet. The man was grateful for the meal, and the two parted ways.  


Shortly after, the principal decided to turn back and approach the man again. This time he wanted to offer some extended help. He gave the man food vouchers and prayed with him. 

The gesture touched Steve, who later revealed he had prayed God would send someone across his path. The homeless man was emotional, and Brantley shared: “Tears began to fill my eyes! Oh my … how blessed am I.”

The principal was glad God used him to brighten someone else’s life. The story became even more emotional when Brantley learned Steve had cancer. He didn’t think he had long to live and was thankful for the kindness. 

The pair prayed together outside a McDonald’s store as both of them cried. The man told Brantley that God sent him, and the principal agreed. Brantley shared the story on his Facebook page, and it quickly went viral. 


Brantley didn’t want to be praised for his actions. He said: “My intention was to show that God brought me to this man, but God also brought this man to me.” Many were encouraged by the story, which made them realize how fortunate they were. 

The story also garnered reactions from people willing to help Steve. One woman indicated her doctor would help treat the homeless man’s cancer for free. The principal’s simple gesture spurred many to step up to the plate and displayed the power of kindness in action. 

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