‘Christmas miracle’: Community helps homeless man for holidays

Published: Dec. 26, 2022 at 1:55 PM EST
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NORWALK, Conn. (News 12 Connecticut) - For the first time in several years, a homeless man in Connecticut has food and warm shelter this holiday season.

It’s all thanks to complete strangers from his community who felt inspired to give.

People in the area of Connecticut Avenue are familiar with the rattling of a pushcart and the vibrant person behind it.

For the last five years, Paris’ livelihood has been collecting bottles. He expresses his gratitude for people who have helped him out as he collects.

“It’s all right to have what I have, and it comes from people that care, to give me just a bottle,” he said Sunday.

This Christmas, a stranger’s request to get him a sleeping bag and basic products turned into something more.

“It all started with a post from our friend Amy Stackhouse,” said Victoria Hinds, who is helping to organize donations for Paris.

There has been an outpouring from the community as to how they can help. He received gift cards, warm food and even a place to stay.

Hinds said the donations totaled around $2,200 by Sunday.

“Two nights turned into three, and three into six, and now we have nine nights for Paris in a hotel,” Hinds said.

It will be his first warm Christmas since 2015.

“I’m so overwhelmed,” Paris said. “When you weep ... you weep because it’s real, you have the realists and the non-realists, and this is the realists right now.”

Instead of just a few bottles this year, the community is giving Paris miracles he’s only dreamed of.

“A Christmas miracle to me is love, me being embraced,” he said. “When they say unbelievable, it’s real.”

The community is still accepting donations for Paris on Venmo. They can be made to the username “lets help Paris.”