Homeless man snubbed at Starbucks says he’s overwhelmed by girl’s kindness

A homeless man who was given a sandwich by a schoolgirl said he was overwhelmed by her kindness — despite staff allegedly telling her to ‘let nature take its course’.

Selfless teenager Amy McIlroy went to buy homeless lad Liam Anderson, 20, a sandwich from coffee chain Starbucks after she saw him shaking from the cold.

Liam said he was “very thankful” to the 14-year-old for the food but “shocked” by the attitude of the Starbuck’s staff member who he claims didn’t want to let him in.

Following the incident, Amy took to Twitter and wrote: “So f** disgusted. @StarbucksUK went in to one of your Glasgow branches to get some food for a homeless boy who was physically shaking from the cold and was told off a worker that I’d be better ‘saving my money and letting nature take its course’.

“I’m at a loss for words.”

Liam, from the Pollock area of Glasgow, thought “wow, people really do care” when Amy stepped in and bought him a treat from the cafe in Exchange Place, Glasgow.

He said: “When the girl bought me a Starbucks, it was quite overwhelming, to be honest. I was very thankful, it was appreciated.

“I can’t remember it all now but I was thankful.

“I wanted to get into Starbucks and they didn’t want to let me in because I was homeless.

“I was quite dirty and other customers get to go in no matter their circumstances.

“I was very shocked. It’s unfair that I’ve been discriminated by the way I look. It’s bang out.”

Starbucks are now on the receiving end of a customer backlash following Amy’s tweet.

Homeless Liam Anderson in Glasgow. 

Liam explained that he became homeless after being neglected by his mother and falling out with his sister after going through the care system.

He said: “I became homeless because my mum neglected me since I was about 14.

“Me and my sister went through care… I tried to leave care and now I’m waiting until social work gets me a house

“I’ve been staying at a homeless night shelter but sometimes that’s fully booked.

“It’s because it’s been fully booked because it’s been Christmas and all that so I’ve been outside quite often.

“So, at times I go grab a sleeping bag somewhere, get under an air vent then go to sleep.

“It is quite scary at times but once you get to know a few faces it’s not too bad.

“People talking to me gives me comfort because they ask if I’m okay and that.

“My wee sister has her own house now but we fell out in care.

“They had to separate us because we weren’t talking to each other.

“I’ve lost contact with her through Facebook and the whole lot.”

Liam eventually hopes to get back on his feet, get a flat and go to college.

He added: “I now would love to be like a football manager and go to college. Not professional but over 35’s or something.”

A spokeswoman for Starbucks UK said: “We’re urgently investigating what has happened here and have been in touch with the customer directly to apologise.

“We believe in creating a place that is welcoming for all and we are disappointed that this incident does not represent the values we expect in our stores.”


19 shocking facts about the homelessness epidemic in the UK

Teenager becomes first to move into £40K “Micro-Home” billed as a cure to Britain’s homelessness problems

Since you’re here …

Real, independent, investigative journalism is in alarming decline. It costs a lot to produce. Many publications facing an uncertain future can no longer afford to fund it. This means journalists are losing the ability to hold the rich and powerful to account.

We do not charge or put articles behind a paywall. If you can, please show your appreciation for our free content by donating whatever you think is fair to help keep TLE growing.

Every penny we collect from donations supports vital investigative and independent journalism. You can also help us grow by inviting your friends to follow us on social media.

Donate Now Button

2 Responses

  1. Ituri

    It’s getting hard to care about stories like this when they are so obviously inflated. I don’t believe for a moment the staff actually talked like that. I also don’t buy the “innocent” act this guy puts on. Oh, he just “fell out” with everyone? Nope, he probably has a mental disorder he refuses to treat or he’s a druggie who refuses to quit. Seen far too many people like this who have LOVING families who did everything possible for them, and they threw those families in the garbage in favor of the drugs. Now Starbucks is in trouble because they don’t want him stinking up their cafe? Would you want him sitting next to you in a sit-down restaurant? They wouldn’t let him in one of those places either, but Starbucks is in trouble? They have the right to maintain a standard for their customers, and the fewer people who enable the better. Call it hard hearted if you want, it’s an experienced one.

Leave a Reply