FRESNO, Calif. – What started as a normal morning coffee-run for Michelle Garcia has turned into a heartbreaking story shared by thousands around the world, KSEE24 reports.
A few weeks ago, Michelle Garcia stopped for some coffee on her way to work. When she approached the shop, she instantly recognized the homeless man waiting outside for her. Dressed in dirty clothes and passed out, the man was Garcia’s 20-year-old son, Michael.
In November of 2017, Michael couldn’t suppress his drug addiction, so he left his job and apartment to live on the streets. Garcia told KSEE24 she occasionally finds Michael waiting for her outside of her favorite coffee shop. Garcia has tried to get help for her son multiple times, but has since limited their interactions to her morning coffee runs.
This particular interaction with her son was different though. Garcia is a professional photographer, so she grabbed her camera and began taking photos of her son, showing his tattered clothes and drug-ridden body.
Garcia then posted the photos to her Facebook page with a detailed message about her son’s homelessness and drug problem. She says she posted the photos to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic and shed light on what addiction truly looks like.
Garcia included some advice to parents in her post. She says, “Keep your eyes and ears open to communication with your children and the ones you love. I would never want any other parent to watch their child the way that I’ve had to watch Michael go through this disease.”