Homeless Asian Grandma in TEARS After Getting Spit On, Cursed At Asking for Help in NYC

Homeless Asian Grandma in TEARS After Getting Spit On, Cursed At Asking for Help in NYCHomeless Asian Grandma in TEARS After Getting Spit On, Cursed At Asking for Help in NYC
Carl Samson
March 26, 2020
A homeless Asian woman has reportedly endured blatant abuse from pedestrians while living on the streets of New York City in a time she now describes as the “new normal.”
At one point, Mai Li broke down in tears after getting spat on and cursed at — first for being homeless and then for being Asian, according to charity group Backpacks For The Street, which shared her story this week.
The group also claimed to have witnessed one particular moment in which a passerby yelled at the old woman, “Go the f**k back to your country and die.”
“SPIT ON and CURSED AT … WITH TEARS COMING DOWN HER FACE! First for being HOMELESS. Then for being ASIAN. That’s what Mai Li has had to endure,” Backpacks co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Newman wrote. “She was in tears and shaking as she tried to explain to Jayson the hate and disgust that she faces now in this new normal.”
Backpacks For The Street co-founder Jayson Conner reaches out to Mai Li. Image via Backpacks For The Street
Others blamed Mai Li for the COVID-19 outbreak — an unsurprising report adding to the countless incidents of racism and xenophobia Asians have been suffering in the last several weeks.
“Where so many homeless people too often feel invisible, there is the other side of this ugliness, where passerbys are just cruel,” Newman noted.
Jeffrey Newman, co-founder and CEO of Backpacks For The Street. Image via Backpacks For The Street
Mai Li reportedly lives with her granddaughter, who spotted the Backpacks team on the street and recognized them for having helped her in the past.
She led the group to her grandmother, and that’s when they learned all the discrimination she has been enduring.
Newman encouraged others to help Backpacks continue their work in helping people like Mai Li, who are especially vulnerable at this time of a health crisis. The group aims to equip the homeless with essential materials against COVID-19.
“The pain is real. The heartbreak is real. The discrimination is real,” Newman wrote. “But so too is the help and the hope that Backpacks For The Street is able to give Mai Li, her granddaughter and others who are homeless on the street and struggling to survive, but who also have no access to COVID fighting necessities, which we are able to provide, and did provide, along with a backpack of toiletries, food and other items.”
Mai Li’s struggle has touched people’s hearts. Some also condemned abusive pedestrians.
“I’m sorry that some people behave worse than animals and no one deserves to be homeless or spit on. I know how soul destroying that is,” one wrote.
“[It] breaks my heart to see things like this happening everywhere in the country and around the world,” another commented. “Why can’t we be kind to one another and help this poor lady find shelter? I’m glad to see that she’s able to receive the basic necessities from this charity organization, but what’s going to happen when she runs out!?”
You can donate to Backpacks For The Street here.
Feature Image via Backpacks For The Street

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding and loans. Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry. From figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution, so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

Share this Article
© 2024 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.