A mayor of a small town asked his staff to remove the homeless from the streets, only to find out that his own daughter and grandchildren had been living there for years.
Simon was the mayor of a small town in West Virginia. He was raised in a low-income family living in a government-run public housing facility where he and his family relied on food stubs for their daily meals.
As he was exposed to poverty at such a young age, he dreamed of being rich and having power, so he studied hard, got himself scholarships in top schools, and earned a Master's Degree in Political Science.
Eventually, all Simon needed to do was run for office so he could finally get a taste of the power he'd been longing for. He first started out running for lower positions, until one election, he hit it big and became the mayor of his small town.
Simon had always dreamt of success. | Source: Pexels
When Simon won, the first thing he ordered was to remove the camps of homeless people on the outskirts of his city. He wanted their city to be a clean, green, tourist-friendly town, but the homeless camps were an eyesore.
He asked his long-time executive assistant, Rob, to go to the site and have it cleared out in three days. Rob agreed, taking a team of policemen with him to intimidate those who lived in the camps.
Simon expected Rob to be out the entire day, so he prepared a schedule to go through some papers that the previous mayor left behind. However, he was surprised to see Rob back in the office after just an hour.
"What's wrong, Rob? Why are you back so soon?" he asked his assistant.
Simon ordered his executive assistant to have all homeless camps in the city removed. | Source: Pexels
Rob had a worried look on his face, not knowing how to explain something to his boss. With a nervous tone, he revealed that he had seen Simon's daughter, Mia, alongside her five kids, in the first homeless camp he visited.
"Oh? Does she work in social services? I haven't heard from her in years. I have no idea what she's been up to," Simon replied casually.
Rob shook his head. "No, sir. Mia lives in a tent with her five children. They are all homeless, and she told me she had been homeless for years now."
Rob nervously revealed that he had seen Simon's daughter in the homeless camp. | Source: Pexels
Simon's heart dropped as soon as he heard what Rob said. Ten years ago, he had kicked his daughter out of his home after she got into a relationship with one of the construction workers building their home. She was only 18 at the time.
Simon thought it was embarrassing that his daughter's spouse was not someone of better stature. He refused to have anything to do with her, and he had not seen her since then.
Now, he realized how cruel he'd been toward his daughter and knew he was partly at fault for why Mia ended up on the streets. "Rob, take me to where you found my daughter," he told his assistant.
Rob took his boss to the site where he saw Mia. | Source: Pexels
They drove to the homeless camp where he had already spotted his daughter even before he got out of the car. Mia was sitting on the sidewalk, feeding her children a couple of biscuits. "She looks a lot older than she is. She's only 28, yet she looks so tired. My heart breaks seeing this," Simon admitted to Rob.
He got out of the car and slowly approached his daughter. "Mia, what happened to you? Why didn't you ever come to me for help?" he asked.
Mia was surprised to see her father there. "Dad, I didn't think you would come. It's so nice to see you," she said, her voice cracking as she was about to cry. She had not seen her father in a decade, so she had no idea how to react.
Mia looked nothing her age when her father found her. | Source: Pexels
Simon couldn't believe what he was seeing. Mia looked frail, as if she hadn't eaten a proper meal in a while. She was in worn-out clothes and had long, unkempt hair. "What happened, Mia?" he asked her again, trying to figure out how his daughter ended up on the streets.
"I know you've been busy at work, and you were mad at me the last time we saw each other, so I never thought to bother you and ask you for help," Mia told her dad. "My husband, James, died while working on one of the sites he was assigned to. I'm a single mom raising our five children, so I don't have work," she revealed.
"We were kicked out of our apartment after depleting all of James' savings for our daily expenses. I never received insurance money from him, so we ended up on the streets, begging for food and money. I hide from social services every day because I'm afraid they'd take my kids to foster care," Mia said, crying.
Mia cried as she told her story. | Source: Pexels
Simon burst into tears as well. "I'm sorry, Mia, please forgive me. I should have never kicked you out of the house. I was being selfish – I thought only about myself. I can't believe you've been living this way for years while I was sleeping in a comfortable bed every night, oblivious to the sufferings you were experiencing," he sobbed.
Mia shook her head. "It's not your fault, dad. You shouldn't blame yourself for what happened to me. Sometimes, life throws you the most unexpected curveballs, and you just have to deal with it. Besides, I still love you, dad. I never planted hate in my heart, and I kept praying we'd see each other again one day. I'm glad that day finally came."
Simon continued to cry, still feeling guilty about his daughter's situation. He looked at his grandchildren, smiling as he studied their faces one by one. "My grandchildren are beautiful, Mia. I'm so glad to see that you are all okay, even though this is the situation you found yourselves in," he said.
Mia nodded. "This is Adam, Jeff, Marissa, Mika, and Simon Jr. I named our eldest son after you, dad because I wanted him to be like you one day – full of dreams and ambition to do well for himself," she said.
Simon promised to take care of Mia and his grandchildren. | Source: Pexels
Simon couldn't believe Mia named one of her children after him, in spite of what he did to her. Filled with emotion and regret, he hugged his grandchildren one by one.
That same day, Simon took Mia and her children home while he arranged the purchase of a house they could live in. He took all of them shopping for nice clothes and nutritious food, so they never had to experience hunger ever again.
"I'm sorry, Mia. I realized too late that true success isn't in what you've achieved or how much money you've earned – it's the family you build and the relationships you cherish. I promise that I will always put our family first. I love you, Mia, and I love my grandchildren, too," Simon said, giving his daughter a long, tight hug that took ten years for them to experience again.
As he went on with his job as mayor, Simon pushed through with the demolition of the homeless camps. However, he made sure to build government housing projects for the displaced homeless, providing them a safe and secure space with access to food and clean water.
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