Student-run ‘Humans of Edinburgh’ changes homeless man’s life

Donations have flooded in for homeless Karl after Ollie Buchanan and Zishan Ashraf told his story


One homeless man’s life has been transformed after he was featured on the famous Humans of Edinburgh Facebook page.

Donations, voluntary work and clothes are just some of the offerings from Edinburgh citizens everywhere after they were touched by his story.

Founded by students Ollie Buchanan and Zishan Ashraf, Humans of Edinburgh provides a glimpse into the lives of strangers in the capital. 

Meet Karl: 

KARL 1

When Humans of Edinburgh first met Karl

As a victim of homelessness, Karl yearns for “a job and responsibilities,” but: “You can’t get a job without a home.”

When quizzed about potential job prospects, he said he would “love to work with dogs in a rescue home.

“Working with animals would make me the happiest man on this Earth.”

Once Karl’s story had been published, Ollie posted: “Is there anybody, or any way, that we could get this man some voluntary work experience in an animal home?” 

Here are a few responses from strangers who were more than willing to help Karl or had suggestions for possible courses of action: 

HoE - Comments - Big Issue comment

HoE - Comments - Animal Care comment

HoE - Comments - Just Giving comment

After receiving the overwhelming amount of responses, Ollie said: “I’m blown away.

“It’s completely restored my faith in what I do – and how perfect the audience and community have been on this page.”

Work experience and a voluntary placement has been organised for Karl in a dogs home in Edinburgh.

And a PayPal account has been set up and welcomes donations to help Karl on his journey. 

Depending on how much is raised, Ollie dreams of buying Karl “a mansion and 500 dogs”.

When Karl was informed of the news, he was dumbfounded. He confessed: “I didn’t even know people like this existed.

“There’s so many bastards in this world that you start to think everyone’s like that.

“Coming from a life where nobody wanted to help ever, this opportunity is truly a god send.”

“This has made me the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

“Thanks isn’t a strong enough word.”

A shopping trip followed, where new clothes and food were bought for Karl. Ollie explained his plans to give Karl £20 from the fund every time he sees him (every few days) until it runs out. 

The moment Karl found out his life would change forever.

The moment Karl found out his life would change forever.

To follow up on Karl’s story, Ollie will document the whole process on the Humans of Edinburgh Facebook page.

Instagram: @humansofedin, Twitter: @humansofedin

PayPal account for donations: [email protected]