HEARTBREAKING video shows a badly-beaten homeless man sob as he tells how his mother’s death from cancer left him on the streets.
The man, known only as Ian, has a badly blackened eye as a result of being attacked for an “empty shoebox”, he tells the camera.
The clip was filmed in Cardiff after a 10-year-old boy asked his grandmother to give Christmas gifts to the city’s homeless.
Gethin Evans and his gran, Michaela Hawkins, 63, discovered Ian’s story and persuaded him to tell it to the camera so it could be shared online.
Gethin and Michaela, both from New Tredegar, Caerphilly, visited the Welsh capital on Sunday to distribute presents to some of the city’s homeless people.
Michaela posted: “I took my grandson and his friend to give out Xmas presents to the homeless.
“We met this young man and spent time talking to him. This is his story that he gave permission for me to video and post.
The video shows Ian in tears with a black eye talking about the events which led up to him becoming homeless and being recently attacked.
It begins with Ian already talking, he continues: “My mum collapsed and then I found out she had cancer and she died six weeks later.
“Then the council took the flat away two weeks after the funeral.
“I just ended up with nowhere to go.”
He added: “Then they put me in a hostel. I had a bit of a bad time in it, I couldn’t stay there.
“Then obviously, two days ago I ended up getting attacked simply because of my situation. Somebody tried rob me for an empty shoebox.”
Through his tears, he adds: “I’m sorry I don’t know what else to say. I’m too upset to even talk to be honest.”
Social media users were touched by Ian’s story.
Lin Snashall Fordham wrote: “Bless his heart ..This has got to change #GTTO
Fran Walsh wrote: “Two weeks later they made him homeless. Doesn’t bear thinking about. Shame on the council. They are heartless.”
A man called Nige wrote: “The shocking brutal life some desperate people are forced to endure in this the austerity war against the poorest in society.”
Another user added: “That poor lad, it certainly puts things in perspective when you see what he is going through, it’s heartbreaking and very wrong”
A woman called Pauline wrote: “My heart is aching for this poor boy. So vulnerable”
A user called Bingo moon wote: “Crying here. We can do better, we must do better.”
A user called Ray wrote: “Awful, made me really sad, his situation, it can happen to anyone.”
He also later added: “You must be very proud of your Grandson, a great gentleman at such a young age, his standards now, are with him for life, i wish him well in his future, reminds me, of someone i knew at the same age, he speaks with humanity in his heart.”
Speaking today, Michaela said: “I have been blown away by the response to the video. It gives me hope that people are acknowledging the issue.
“Gethin went to the theatre on a school trip and when he came out he saw some homeless and he felt really sad about it.
“He asked if he could share some of his christmas presents with them, so we went and bought some and decided to take them to Cardiff where we met Ian.
“He was explaining everything to us and I asked if he minded if I filmed his story and posted it and he was happy for me to do that.
“Gethin was very sad about it and he said to me, ‘Nan, why does the Prime Minister let this happen to people.’, that really took me back when he said that.
“I felt very mixed, I was sad and angry and I just felt very helpless about it.