Scott Kuczmarski did not know that his visit to his son in California would provide him a wonderful friendship with an unexpected person.
The 56-year-old retiree from North Kingston, Rhode Island, visited California in May 2019 when he met a homeless 59-year-old man named Robert Pineda. He was homeless for 32 years and has been on the streets of Palo Alto. Kuczmarksi stopped to help him and bought him a snack.
Scott remembered how he met Robert. He was walking his dog and was complaining about his cold coffee. With his grouchiness evident, Scott saw Robert smiling as he rode on his bike with all of his belongings. Scott bought Robert some breakfast on another day. They became friends over the next three weeks.
Scott’s mindset about being happy started when he read Dalai Lama’s “The Art of Happiness,” which said that helping others is the means to genuine, sustainable happiness.
A Stranger’s Life Made Better
Robert did not know he had schizophrenia which kept him on the streets for more than 30 years. Scott desired to help him seek medical help; however, he knew that Robert needed to trust him before considering this proposal. Scott slept one night on the streets with Robert. The next day, Scott proposed that he seek medical attention. With this, Robert was given medicine.
Robert’s life changed because of Robert’s desire to make a difference in a person’s life. With Robert, a certified carpenter, Scott bought a house one hour away from his home and helped repair it in the summer of 2020.
Scott shared that there are 46 million retirees who have plenty of time on their hands. He encouraged these people to go out of their way and make friends with these homeless people. Currently, there is an average of 580,000 people who sleep outside on any given night.
Scott and Robert often bond together by playing golf and pool, working on the cabin, traveling, and eating meals together.
“We do a lot of things,” Pineda explained how both he and Kuczmarksi bond together. “For the most part, golf is one of our biggest staples.”
Robert has become a family member of Scott’s household. Scott introduced him to his family and friends as they hung out.
Scott is grateful for his family as they agreed and welcomed Robert into the family. Scott joins them in celebrations and gatherings.
Scott showed how he cared for people that are kept unnoticed by society. As the Bible says,
“If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother.” (Deuteronomy 15:7-8, KJV).