GOLDSBORO, NC (CNN) — Having been with the Goldsboro Police Department in North Carolina for the past nine years, Officer Michael Rivers has come to know the faces of the homeless in his community. But Wednesday, he came upon a homeless woman he had never seen before. And her shirt caught his eye. It read: “Homeless. The fastest way of becoming a nobody.”
He had his windows down so the two made eye contact and acknowledged each other with a simple, “Hey.” He drove away, but something kept tugging at him to go back, Rivers said.
“God put it on my heart to get her lunch,” the 29-year-old officer told CNN. “So I turned around and I asked her, ‘Hey, did you eat today?’ And she said, ‘No.’”
So he grabbed pepperoni and cheese pizzas from a nearby pizza shop and sat down on the grass next to her. The pizza they shared was great, Rivers said, but the conversation was even better.
For 45 minutes, Rivers and the homeless woman, who he said identified herself as Michelle, shared their life stories. And the heartwarming moment was captured in a photo by a passerby, whose husband shared it on Facebook.
“Law enforcement does so much for our community, with a lot of it going unnoticed,” Chris Barnes said in his Facebook post, which has since garnered nearly 1,000 likes and more than 3,000 shares.