Controversial Facebook post prompts Fargo woman to start fundraiser for homeless man
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Fargo woman is raising money in hopes of helping a man she’s never met get on his feet again, and it all started because of a Facebook post.
Just after 7:30 Tuesday morning, a member in the Facebook group ’Fargo Can’t Park’ posted a photo of a messy car with the caption, ‘good grief!!’
“It just kind of meant in a negative way, like, kind of gross,” Trisha Lake said.
New comments flooded in by the minute, and many chimed in to say the man who owned the car was a homeless veteran.
“When you see that situation, something’s happening. It’s not someone who has messy kids, like something’s going on in their life that they probably need a little bit of help with. That judgement sat in my stomach the wrong way,” Lake said.
It did for many other group members, too. Some commenters offered to pay for the car’s next set of tabs, as well as an oil change. However, Lake took it one step further by setting up a GoFundMe with the goal of $7800 which would cover a year of rent in an apartment efficiency plus a security deposit.
“I just think it would be so cool to be able to secure a home for someone for a year straight. It takes time to get on your feet. It takes time to work things out if you have mental health issues,” she said.
However, there’s a lot of what if’s left: What if the man doesn’t want help? What if he can’t be found again? Or, what if he’s not actually homeless or in need of financial help?
“With that money, we can still make a really big difference. Hopefully it’s for him, but if he doesn’t want it, then we’re going to take it and turn around and make someone else’s life incredible,” Lake said. Lake says if it doesn’t work out, the money will go to local homeless shelters, programs for veterans and/or mental health help.
As the owner of TLC Cleaning in Fargo, Lake assures those who feel compelled to donate to the GoFundMe, all the money raised will go to the man or a good cause.
“It would be really silly for me to do something unethical. I have a lot to lose as a business owner, so it’s not something that would cross my mind ever,” Lake said.
Lake says both the Gladys Ray Homeless shelter and the VA are working with her in hopes of finding the man and will help allocate the money to him if accepted.
She added while social media is a dark and toxic place, it’s up to you to be the change you want to see in the world.
“People make fun of mental health, make fun of homelessness, make fun of people with disabilities. We’re just naïve to the kindness in the world the more we’re on social media,” Lake said.
Lake also urges those in the community not to try to seek out the man, as the last thing anyone wants is to scare him away.
Copyright 2021 KVLY. All rights reserved.