Source:/ OWN / Huffington Post
For nearly 35 years, Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho was homeless, living on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He mostly kept to himself, writing poetry from the same spot every single day ― a median that he called “The Island.” Locals came to know of Sobrinho, but no one seemed to pay him much mind. Until, that is, Shalla Monteiro walked by.
Monteiro befriended the unkempt man and soon learned that he had been holding onto a big dream over the decades.
“Raimundo always wanted to publish a book of his poems, and as a person who lived in the streets, [this] became an impossible dream,” Monteiro says. “I felt I needed to do something.”
Sobrinho signed each piece of poetry as “The Conditioned,” so Monteiro set up a Facebook page called Ocondicionado to publish his works. Soon after, passersby started seeing Sobrinho differently.
“People started to get close to him,” Monteiro says. “To talk to him, to go there, just say, ‘Hey, I saw you. I want to know you. I always wanted to know, but I didn’t have the courage to come and talk.’”
Then, something life-changing happened.
“I got a message from his brother,” Monteiro says.
Sobrinho’s brother reached out and then went to see Sobrinho in person. “When I arrived at The Island, I found a man in the midst of garbage, hairy and unshaved, with no hygiene whatsoever,” he recalls. “This person was my brother.”
Sobrinho’s brother asked Sobrinho come to live with him, and the family reunited after decades apart.