Generous homeless man gets a second chance

2015-09-09 09:09
Daniel Kruger. (Picture: Storm Steen)

Daniel Kruger. (Picture: Storm Steen)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - Daniel Kruger could hardly have known that a friendly comment to a woman on her motorbike would give him a fresh chance off the streets.

The homeless 25-year-old was standing at traffic lights close to Durban’s city centre on Thursday when marketing company owner Storm Steen pulled up.

He didn't ask for money.

Instead, he told her it was the first time he had seen a lady on a bike.

"Just his smile and a friendly comment made me feel good about my day. It’s very seldom these days that people are genuinely friendly without wanting something in return," Steen told News24 on Tuesday.

The encounter stayed with her.

After hearing about community building at Bible study that night, she resolved to help him.

Downward spiral

With the last few hundred rand in her bank account, she bought clothing, toiletries and some food to put in a backpack.

She returned the next day to find out his name and life story.

He told her he and his high school sweetheart had married and later moved to Durban for work.

When his wife was eight months pregnant, her uterus apparently burst and both she and the baby died after an emergency C-section.

From there it was a downward spiral of heroin use and numerous suicide attempts, Steen said.

"He said he was locked up for heroin and released this year. He had been on the streets for three months trying to get back on his feet."

Steen said she knew drug addicts could be the best liars and she had been cautious, checking his arms for signs he was still a user.

Satisfied, she handed over the backpack.

He cried for 20 minutes.

Taking a chance, she agreed to meet him at a public place that night.

Using the little money he had, he bought two drinks as they chatted.

"He was such a gentleman, pulled out the chairs and refused to let me pay for anything. He even bought me a rose, a beaded daisy from a street vendor and a bracelet."


It was difficult to find a job with a criminal record, but he had been trying to save up and start a car washing business for companies.

Steen said she made an "investment" and bought him the materials he needed to get started.

He apparently struggled between holding the shopping packets and using his hands to wipe away his tears.

Her friends also offered him the use of a room at the back of their Musgrave home until December.

This was on condition that he stayed clean.

"He seems like a decent guy and is trying to get his life straight," Steen said.

"If you are in a rough patch, all it takes is that one person and you can achieve massive things."

Read more on:    durban  |  good news

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.