PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - The holiday season is supposed to be about helping others but at least one man says that his desire to help the homeless directly conflicted with his boss’ plan to keep them away. Getting fired days before Christmas was a dark moment for him and his family but he told our own Bill Anderson that the support of his friends and the lessons he learned definitely filled his holiday season with light….For Goodness Sake
What do you do when your own morality or sense of doing right violates your job's policy? Curtis Shipman says that right before Christmas he was trying to be helpful to a homeless person. His employer didn't like it and it left him unemployed just days before Christmas.
"I got fired for allowing a homeless guy to sleep in the maintenance area in the back at the job," he told FOX 29.
The job was as a security guard at two apartment buildings near Rittenhouse Square and the reason Curtis says he did it is honestly pretty simple. "You gotta be kind to people. It's cold outside," he explained.
What's interesting is he understands that he broke the rule but his desire to help was just more important to him.
"My boss for the security company told me you broke our number 1 rule blah blah blah. I told him what was I supposed to do, just leave him out there?" he said.
His wife, Tamika, shares his outlook on how to treat people but did decide to share it on Facebook and was clearly surprised by overwhelming support.
"People responded in such a positive way I did not expect it. I thought I was going to get some negative feedback because he did break a rule but it was the opposite effect," she said.
As FOX 29's Bill Anderson and Curtis walked through Rittenhouse Square talking it was clear Curtis developed a relationship with homeless in the area that at least partially influenced his decision to help
"All the regulars that watch out for you, you watch out for them and all the homeless people around there know me," he said.
The homeless man, Gary, who Curtis lost his job for helping is one of the many he says he's developed a relationship with. Obviously, we wanted to hear his view, but finding him not necessarily easy. We finally found Gary in the alley near Curtis' old job on Sansom and their relationship seemed sincere
"It was really cold and crappy out side, pouring down rain and he offered to help me out, give me a warm place in back to sleep," Gary said. "To cost him his job for that I think is dead wrong and I'll let God take its course on that note."
The apartment building is unnamed because they were unavailable to comment because of the holidays but we will follow up. As for Curtis he hopes to land on his feet soon with a new job and leaves us with a final thought before we ignore the homeless.
"You make that one decision or you lose your job or a family member passes or whatever. You could be out here too, all of us could be out here."
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