Heartwarming photo of policeman eating lunch with homeless woman goes viral

A police officer has gone viral after a passerby caught a precious moment between him and a homeless woman.

Facebook user Chris Barnes posted a photo last week taken by his wife Cassie in North Carolina.

According to Barnes, Cassie was on her lunch break when she spotted police officer Michael Rivers sitting on the side of the road with a homeless woman when she decided to snap a photo.

The pair were sharing a pizza and soda while they were having a friendly chat.

“Cassie was out on her lunch break and observed Goldsboro’s Finest enjoying lunch with a homeless person,” Barnes captioned the picture.

“Law enforcement does so much for our community, with a lot of it going unnoticed. We see you Goldsboro P.D. Keep up the good work.”

North Carolina police officer Micheal Rivers sat down to have lunch with a homeless woman. Source: Facebook/Cassie Barnes/Chris Barnes

The picture has been shared thousands of times on Facebook with people praising the officer’s actions.

“Leading by example!! An awesome man!!” one commenter wrote.

“So heartwarming to see this photo,” another person said.

“Some of the best people are displaced and great are those who share with them,” someone said.

“I think people are doing something positive and what can be more positive than a police officer sitting down and breaking bread with a homeless woman on the side of the road?” Barnes told Yahoo Lifestyle US.

Officer Rivers, who is an 8-year veteran of the Goldsboro Police Department, recalled seeing the woman earlier that day.

“I was leaving the parking lot of Walmart and she was standing by the stop sign,” he told Yahoo.

“Her shirt read, ‘Homeless the fastest way of becoming a nobody.’ I hated that she felt that way.”

Rivers said he spoke to her briefly.

“I always try to talk to the homeless just to see how they got into their situation, you know? Because, like I tell everybody, it can happen to any one of us...at any given moment.”

Officer Michael Rivers' kind act has since gone viral, with people praising his compassion. Source: Michael Rivers

After Rivers drove away, he circled back to ask if the woman was hungry and if she wanted food. She was honoured by his offer.

Rivers bought pizza and Mountain Dew and when the pair sat down to eat, he learned of her family struggles and told her, “Hey, you still got stuff to live for...you still got your life ahead of you. It’s never too late.”

Rivers, who does recruiting for the Goldsboro PD, hopes to send a message of compassion for others.

“When the younger or newer guys come in, I let them know, ‘Hey, treating the community like human beings is the most important thing in the world,’” he says.

“...And part of that message is, ‘You don’t have to charge everybody for everything.’ So if we as police officers show that love and compassion to everybody, no matter their age, financial background or race, the world would be a better place.”

-Yahoo Lifestyle

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